Close a hole in the urethra through which urine leaks out.
Build up the thickness of the wall of the urethra so it seals
tightly when you hold back urine.
Most bulking materials are injected around the urethra just
outside the muscle of the urethra at the bladder outlet. Injecting the bulking material may be done through the skin,
through the urethra or, in women, through the vagina. Needle placement is
guided by the use of a
cystoscope inserted into the urethra.
Lou Dunn is one of those women who's always on the go. The Pittsburgh mother and wife runs her own calligraphy business and usually has energy to burn.
But for years, her active schedule was hampered by a serious downside. Nature called way too often.
Like millions of others, Dunn suffers from overactive bladder, or OAB, in which the bladder wall muscle inappropriately contracts, causing the urge to urinate. The urge can be so strong and sudden that there is not enough time to get to a bathroom...
Urethral bulking procedures are usually done under
local anesthesia in women, but men may require a
regional anesthesia. A local anesthetic allows the
person to stand up after an injection to find out if continence has been
achieved. If continence has not been restored, another injection may be done
The surgery is used mostly for women and sometimes
What To Expect After Surgery
Most urethral bulking injections can
be done in a doctor's office or surgery center. They rarely require
hospitalization. You may need to take it easy for a few days afterward.
Mild stress incontinence in men that results from prostate
How Well It Works
Urethral bulking may work for some women. But fewer than 4 out of 10 women have long-term benefits.1 Many women need 2 or 3 injections.2
The main risks related to urethral bulking are
pain at the injection site, injury to the urethra, and migration of the bulking
What To Think About
This surgery is used mostly for
women and sometimes for men.
Collagen used for bulking is
obtained from cows and is used after being chemically modified. It may cause
allergic reactions in some people. So before collagen is used, a skin test is done to check for
allergies. Collagen is absorbed slowly by the body,
which makes it necessary to repeat the injections after several years. Collagen
therapy is expensive.
This treatment method
avoids the risks associated with abdominal surgery.
urethral bulking treatment, ask your doctor about the following:
How much success has the doctor had in treating incontinence with surgery? The success of surgical procedures for
urinary incontinence depends on the experience and skill of the surgeon.
Is there anything you can do to increase the likelihood of a successful surgery? Losing weight, quitting smoking, or
doing pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises before surgery may increase the likelihood
of regaining continence after surgery.
American Urological Association (2009). Guideline for the surgical management of female stress urinary incontinence: Update (2009). Available online: http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines.cfm.
Keegan PE, et al. (2007). Periurethral injection
therapy for urinary incontinence in women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3).
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Avery L. Seifert, MD - Urology
September 13, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 13, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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