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New Relief for Stress Incontinence

'Tension-Free' Relief


Gynecare TVT Tension-free Support for Incontinence is used in a simple, outpatient procedure that usually can be completed within 30 minutes. The Gynecare TVT device uses a mesh sling to provide support to the middle of the urethra, the section that is strained during physical activities. The positioning of the device provides support only when needed and creates a "tension-free" treatment solution that reduces the risk of over-correcting.

Five-year data gathered in the United States, Europe, and Australia, and published last year in the International Uro-Gynecology Journal, has indicated that four to six years after treatment, 85%of the more than 200,000 women worldwide treated with this procedure no longer suffer from SUI, and an additional 11% remain significantly improved.

"The biggest advantage of this procedure is that it can be performed under local anesthesia," says Peters-Gee, explaining that this allows a doctor to test the ability of the sling to create continence and to know on the spot that the condition has been treated. "The ability to make adjustments right then and there also reduces the need for using a urinary catheter," says Peters-Gee. An additional advantage is that women who may not be candidates for surgery that requires general anesthesia are candidates for this procedure.

SUI is the most common form of incontinence. Other urinary incontinence can be classified as:

  • Urge -- an abrupt and uncontrollable desire to void.
  • Mixed -- a combination of stress and urge urinary incontinence.
  • Overflow -- the involuntary loss of urine resulting from an overfilled bladder without any corresponding feeling or urge to void.

While most cases of incontinence are not caused by serious problems, it's important to consult a urologist who can perform a complete workup, says Milton Krisiloff, MD, former chief of urology at St. John's Medical Center in Santa Monica, California.

"All cases of incontinence have to be evaluated to rule out infections, neurological problems, and bladder cancer," says Krisiloff, hastening to add that 95%of cases are not caused by these conditions.

Treatment for these other types of incontinence -- often called overactive bladder -- includes prescription medications such as Detrol LA, which works to help control involuntary contractions of the bladder muscle, the cause of strong, sudden urges. Drug therapy is often paired with behavioral techniques and bladder training, which together can help patients regain control over their bladder.

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