Artificial Sphincter for Urinary Incontinence in Men
An artificial sphincter is a device made of
silicone rubber that is used to treat
sphincter has an inflatable cuff that fits around the
urethra close to the point where it joins the bladder.
A balloon regulates the pressure of the cuff, and a bulb controls inflation and
deflation of the cuff. The balloon is surgically placed within the pelvic area,
and the control pump is placed in the scrotum.
Male urinary incontinence is both preventable and manageable. Kegel exercises can help you take control of your leaky bladder.
If you practice Kegel exercises (also called pelvic floor exercises) for five minutes, two or three times daily, you will likely see significant improvement in your ability to control urinary leakage. Another bonus: Kegel exercises can also help you have more intense orgasms, and improve erections.
The cuff is
inflated to keep urine from leaking. When urination is desired, the cuff is
deflated, allowing urine to drain out.
What To Expect After Surgery
Because these procedures involve
abdominal surgery, hospitalization is required.
You will most
likely be able to leave the hospital the day after having the surgery.
Why It Is Done
Installation of an artificial
sphincter may be done for:
Urinary incontinence caused by the removal of
Severe continual leakage of urine from the
Severe urinary incontinence for which other methods of
treatment have failed.
How Well It Works
Artificial sphincter placement is a
successful treatment for up to 90 out of 100 men who have incontinence after
prostate removal. And most men are happy with the artificial
Complications with this type of surgery include:
An infection in the artificial sphincter.
Wearing away (erosion) of the skin of the urethra.
Failure of the artificial sphincter to work.
Men with these problems usually need to have another surgery (revision). This happens in about 23 out of 100 men who have the surgery.1
What To Think About
Because complications may occur,
this is a treatment method that generally is reserved for people for whom all
other treatment options have failed. Some people may prefer to manage their
symptoms with continence products (such as absorbent pads, incontinence clamps,
or pressure cuffs) and changes in habits rather than to have this surgery.
Wessells H, Peterson AC (2012). Surgical treatment of male sphincteric urinary incontinence: The male perineal sling and artificial urinary sphincter. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed., vol. 3, pp. 2290–2305. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
July 17, 2012
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 17, 2012
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