Urinary incontinence affects many men and women across the globe, causing pain, discomfort, embarrassment, and a lower quality of life. However, in a recent study, doctors may have found a way to treat severe urinary incontinence in men. Artificial urinary sphincters might be the answer men with urinary incontinence have been looking for.
The Artificial Urinary Sphincter
For the first time ever, an artificial sphincter was used to treat a case of urinary incontinence in South Africa. To insert the urinary sphincter, a minimally invasive surgery is required. The device is implanted in the groin area and requires zero external parts for the utmost discretion. Behind this groundbreaking surgery is Dr. Johan Venter at the Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. Dr. Venter and his team led the surgery and requested this unique technology for one of his patients who suffered greatly from urinary incontinence. After the success of the surgery, Dr. Johan Venter and the hospital released a statement regarding the success behind the artificial urinary sphincter and believes that it is the answer for those who need help controlling their urinary incontinence–even if they experienced severe damage from an original urinary sphincter (non-artificial). Dr. Venter stated, “We are particularly impressed by this new-generation artificial urinary sphincter option, our investigations revealing that it was the best alternative available globally for cases like this. Some of the advantages it offers include that it’s easy for patients to use and does not require further invasive surgeries, should it require adjustment in the future” (source).
Additionally, Dr. Venter explained that this innovative device is equipped with a pump that the patient can apply pressure to every time he needs to urinate. This pump is made of a soft silicone material and is very easy (and painless) for the patient to use. Additionally, this pump will deactivate the sphincter cuff, this way, the patient is able to urinate normally. However, just like any new device, there are a few factors that can cause damage to the sphincter. If the sphincter is damaged in any way, it can cause further damage to the pelvic wall, and even cause increased urinary and bowel problems. Therefore, doctors do head warning and advice patients to take it easy after surgery.
Advancing The Fight Against Urinary Incontinence
Regardless, this new device is a major step in the right direction for surgical and medicinal practices of urinary incontinence. Finally, doctors are able to provide patients with a way to subdue their urinary incontinence without requiring them to undergo ample surgeries or take a wild concoction of medicine. As time goes on, we are sure to see how well the new, artificial urinary sphincter treats urinary incontinence.