Urinary incontinence predominantly affects women rather than men, though it's certainly possible for men to have UI. This article focuses on female urinary incontinence and surgery to correct the problem
Female Urinary Incontinence Surgery
Female urinary incontinence can be an embarrassing issue to discuss but it's a very real problem for many women of all ages.
Urinary Incontinence Surgery
Urinary incontinence generally affects more women than men and can attack at any age. An embarrassing problem to say the least; most women tend to feel awkward talking about it. The first thing that needs to be understood about female urinary incontinence that cannot be stressed enough is that there are solutions to the problem. Medication, non-surgical procedures and surgical procedures are available thanks to all the advancements in the field of medicine.
While some women have the problem of urinary incontinence (urine leaking out unchecked) only when they cough or sneeze, others have it when they perform strenuous activities like exercise. For some people the problem is very bad and the urine leaks constantly, so the poor woman has to keep making frequent trips to the bathroom.
Female urinary incontinence categories include stress, urge, overly active bladder, overflow, functional, mixed and transient. Each category has its own causes and associated treatments.
The first step is a visit to an urologist specializing in female urinary tract issues. Alternatively, a visit to an urogynecologist is recommended to check whether problems with the pelvis are causing the urinary incontinence. Anyone who has this problem is recommended to start maintaining a diary detailing the exact symptoms of the problem. The doctor is sure to ask the patient to maintain a record for a specific period of time before prescribing treatment. The reason for this is to identify the exact type of incontinence so that it can be treated effectively.
The doctor performs various tests to determine the exact nature of the problem. These tests may include for example, checking for pelvic growths, prolapse of bladder or vagina, weakened pelvic floor among others. The doctor will generally perform a bladder stress test; urine culture and analysis to check for infections or other contributing causes; cystoscopy to check the insides of the bladder and urethra; ultrasound test; urodynamics test to measure pressure on the bladder.
There are different types of surgeries for different types of urinary incontinence categories:
Urine Stress incontinence Surgery
- Sub-urethral sling surgery also known as bladder sling surgery or bladder suspension surgery: is one of the most common surgeries for incontinence. The surgery is performed by making a small incision in the vagina into which the bladder sling is then placed and sutured to the abdominal muscles. The urethra is forced down against the sling supporting it and the neck of the bladder is closed off to prevent urine leakage.
- Tension free vaginal tape (TVT): is a new type of surgery to create a bladder sling or support for the urethra. The take is a mesh that remains in position with suturing. It is a quick process performed under local anesthesia.
- Pubovaginal bladder sling surgery: makes use of the patient’s natural tissues to form the sling to support the urethra.
Urge Incontinence Surgery
- Bladder enlargement surgery: is also referred to as augmentation cystoplasty. The surgery is performed by adding a piece of the bowel to enlarge the bladder, giving it more urine storage capacity.
- Sacral nerve stimulation surgery: is based on placing a simulation implant (electrical) near the sacral nerve located in the lower back area. The implant is generally placed under the skin in the abdomen or upper buttock. The implant’s function is to give out mild electrical pulses to the sacral nerve, which controls the bladder function. This helps to reduce the frequent urge to urinate.