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Bladder Sling Procedures at Our Los Angeles Center

What Is Stress Urinary Incontinence?

There are various types of incontinence, with one of the most common being stress urinary incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence refers to the leakage of urine due to coughing, sneezing or laughing, and it’s also associated with loss of urine during activities such as exercise or lifting heavy objects. This occurs with the weakening of the pelvic muscles that hold the bladder in position and can be caused by many things, including:

  • Childbirth
  • Menopause
  • Prior pelvic surgery such as a hysterectomy
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Enlarged prostate or prostate cancer
  • Bladder cancer or bladder stones

 

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that increase the chances of developing urinary incontinence, including:

  • Smoking: a chronic cough can cause incontinence because it puts stress on the urinary sphincter. Smoking may also increase the risk of an overactive bladder by causing bladder contractions.
  • Obesity: being overweight adds more pressure to the bladder and surrounding muscles, weakening them over time and gradually allowing urine to leak out.
  • Diseases: kidney disease and diabetes may increase risk of incontinence, as well.
  • Age: muscles in the bladder and urethra lose strength with time. In particular, when menopausal women start to produce less estrogen, which is key to the health of the bladder and urethra, those tissues can deteriorate and lead to leakage.
  • Gender: women are more likely to have stress incontinence than men.

 

Treatment

Treatment options for stress urinary incontinence include non-surgical options such as Kegel exercises and pelvic floor behavioral therapy. If surgical therapy is required, a variety of minimally invasive surgical options are available, most of which usually do not require an overnight stay in the hospital.

The sling procedure is one of the most common surgical options for stress urinary incontinence. Two small incisions are made just above the pelvic bone in the abdominal wall and the vagina. A sling is placed under the urethra for support, which provides resistance against leakage. The sling will prevent involuntary leaking of urine by closing the urethra when pushed down on by coughing, sneezing, laughing or any additional activities.

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