Urinary incontinence, or the involuntary loss of urine, can be a difficult issue. You may find yourself unwilling to participate in activities you normally enjoy or even to socialize with friends and family. Stress incontinence is when you lose urine when you cough, sneeze, lift something heavy, or otherwise put stress on your bladder.
Dr. Paul Chung, a leading expert in men’s health, has helped many men who developed urinary incontinence as a result of a prostate issue, age, or other reasons. He has found two surgical interventions to be particularly helpful to patients with urinary incontinence.
Your urinary tract is a relatively simple bodily system. Your bladder holds urine until you release it. The bladder is sealed by a sphincter, which loosens when you urinate. The urine flows through your urethra and exits your body.
A urethral sling works like a hammock to support your urethra, which lessens the tension on the area where your urethra and bladder connect. In mild to moderate cases of stress urinary incontinence, the sling is enough to prevent involuntary urine loss.
The surgery to place the sling is minimally invasive, and usually only takes about an hour. In most cases it’s done on an outpatient basis, which means you don’t need to stay in the hospital.
If the muscle that seals your bladder is damaged, weak, or doesn’t work properly for some other reason, the result can be stress urinary incontinence. Implanting an artificial sphincter can be a good solution.
There are three parts to an artificial urinary sphincter: a cuff that closes your urethra, a pump in your scrotum, and a pressure regulating balloon that is implanted in your abdomen. The cuff is filled with fluid.
When you want to urinate, you gently squeeze the pump, which releases the fluid from the cuff to the balloon. The cuff closes automatically, usually in one to two minutes.
If you have more severe stress urinary incontinence an artificial urinary sphincter is considered the gold standard treatment. It offers the best chance of stopping the leakage.
If you experience stress urinary incontinence, take a moment to consider what your life would be like if you didn’t. Would you be more active? Enjoy more social engagements? Feel more comfortable in general?
All of those things are possible with the appropriate treatment. If you involuntarily lose urine, regardless of the cause, schedule your appointment with Dr. Chung today and find out what your treatment options are.