Voiding Improvement Program (VIP)
What is Biofeedback?
In order for children to achieve normal voiding or urinating, it is essential for them to fully relax their pelvic and urinary sphincter muscles. To help patients relax these important muscles, the Boston Children's Hospital Voiding Improvement Program (VIP) uses Biofeedback, an innovative and non-invasive approach that centers on a software program resembling a video game.
Here's what happens with Biofeedback:
- First, skin patch electrodes are placed on the perineum and abdomen to measure the child’s state of relaxation.
- Patients then perform fun, yet challenging exercises: When a patient successfully relaxes his or her muscles, the patient launches and lands computer-generated rocket ships or opens and closes blooming flowers.
“With Biofeedback, when the child does relax, he or she receives a visual cue from the computer–a dolphin leaping out of the water, a spaceship taking off. This works wonders in teaching our VIP patients how to relax and void effectively.”
--Carlos Estrada, Jr., MD, Physician Director of VIP
Amy knew something was wrong when her ten-year-old daughter Julia began having frequent bathroom accidents in school and began straining when urinating.
Then, Julia began experiencing more serious symptoms. Her temperature would shoot up to above 100 degrees and she would vomit violently. Julia would often be forced to miss school for up to a week until her medicine kicked in.
John of Wayland had normal toileting habits throughout his early childhood.
Yet at the age of seven, John began experiencing loss of bladder control, urgency and frequency. He began voiding more than a dozen times a day, often leading to bathroom accidents while in school and on family vacations.
At first, John’s mother assumed the problem was emotional as opposed to urological, given his history of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). “I knew something was wrong, but I first thought he was doing this out of rebellion or as a way to get attention,” she says.