Not many treatments can claim to change your life in profound ways, but there’s a technology at Skin Care Institute that is doing just that: Emsella™, a non-invasive treatment for urinary incontinence. We sat down with Skin Care Institute Executive Director Judy Alexander for the scoop on Esmella and why it’s considered a breakthrough treatment.
Q: Why is Emsella considered a groundbreaking treatment for urinary incontinence, (bladder leakage) and urgency?
A: Childbirth, menopause and aging can lead to bladder leakage. Over 25 million Americans, including some men, suffer from urgency and incontinence due to weak pelvic floor muscles. Some people say Emsella helps anyone with a pelvis!
Emsella is a revolutionary, non-invasive, no -downtime procedure that takes all the work and time out of strengthening all pelvic floor muscles. It is a chair that patients sit in, fully clothed, while experiencing high-intensity focused electromagnetic technology (HIFEM) to cause deep pelvic floor muscle stimulation and restoration of neuromuscular control.
Q: What inspired Skin Care Institute to offer Emsella? For example, have clients shared about their struggles with urinary incontinence or urgency?
A: Dermatologist Jeff Alexander, M.D., is owner and medical director of Skin Care Institute, and he’s also my husband. I am the Executive Director. I have suffered for over 20 years with urgency, frequency, painful bladder infections and interstitial cystitis, a disease that attacks the lining of the bladder. None of the standard treatments have helped, whether they be non-invasive or invasive treatments. Dr. Alexander was introduced to the Emsella chair at an American Academy of Dermatology meeting a little over a year ago and was impressed by the scientific studies and results reported. He felt that Emsella could not only help me with IC, but could potentially even help patients with other conditions such as fecal incontinence. His research with urologists using Emsella confirmed his hopes of improving IC along with the other documented trial studies.
Q: Can you provide an inspiring success story as the result of Emsella treatments at Skin Care Institute?
A: It is the first non-invasive treatment for urinary incontinence and urgency that not only works for me, but has improved the quality of life for many of our patients! For many people such as myself, medications haven’t helped. Removing alcohol and spicy foods from my diet were restrictive and helped only slightly. Treatments with physical therapists for pelvic floor dysfunction weren’t helpful, nor doing kegels exercises myself. The minor surgical procedures I tried were not successful. After sitting in the Emsella chair for 28 minutes, twice a week for three weeks while receiving the equivalent of thousands of kegels, my symptoms began to improve. That’s more kegels than most people could do on their own in a lifetime! During my first series of treatments, I was waking up fewer times at night to go to the bathroom. After a short time, I often began sleeping for seven hours without getting up only once or not at all. Once I was sleeping better and not stopping at every restroom I passed, I began adding back alcohol to my diet on occasion with no pain and no problem. I can also sit through a meal without getting up twice to empty my bladder. My fear of traveling and not being close to a rest room at all times is no longer a problem. I no longer have any pain at all. Because my disease is more severe than incontinence and urgency/frequency, I continue with a couple of treatments every few months if any of my symptoms start to come back.
Q: How do our clients describe Emsella treatments? For example, is treatment painless? Pleasant? Comfortable because you are fully clothed? Does it involve a gynecological exam?
A: Most patients say they experience no pain, just an interesting series of strong pulses such as tingling and muscle contractions that are strong but totally tolerable. They can read during the 20-minute procedure, talk on their phone or catch up on magazines, etc. Patients are delighted with the ease of the treatments and the quick, dramatic results — and the fact that they don’t even have to remove their clothing to be treated.
Before treating a patient, they have a consultation with one of our Skin Care Institute staff members to make sure there are no contraindications to receiving the HIFEM treatments. A medical history is taken and progress is monitored. Contraindications include pregnancy, cardiac pacemakers and metal implants, to name a few.