Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)

Why Should I Choose UCPA For The Treatment Of SUI?

We take pride in offering the complete range of appropriate options, from conservative therapies to surgical interventions. We guide you through the process and help you to make an informed choice. Because we are trained and experienced in treating SUI, we will offer you the best chance to improve your quality of life.

What Is Stress Incontinence?

Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine, a symptom with many causes. Stress incontinence is a type of leakage that occurs with increased abdominal pressure. This can happen with coughing, sneezing, laughing, straining, exercising, or lifting. Severe
forms of SUI can even be caused by minor physical movements, and be very bothersome to live with.

Stress incontinence can be related to poor support of the urethra, lack of urethral sphincter function, or combinations of both. Determining which cause is present in a patient may be the key to choosing the best options for treatment. Selection of treatment options should be tailored to the individual patient. At UCPA we begin by assessing your medical history combined with a physical examination. Other testing may be necessary to help decide what the best treatment options are for you.

What Are Risk Factors For SUI?

Genetics, aging, obesity, smoking, pregnancy, chronic cough (bronchitis and asthma) and childbirth can all play a role in causing SUI. Although SUI is much more common in women, men can also have the same problem, usually as a complication of prostate surgery.

Is It Really A Problem?

Yes! Urinary leakage is not a normal condition, and is often the source of discomfort and embarrassment. Many times it leads to restricted physical activity and decreased enjoyment of everyday life. Knowing that your mother, sister or friend has stress incontinence and chooses to ignore it does not mean you have to do the same. The myth that incontinence is a normal part of aging is false! For most patients, the sooner they deal with the condition, the better they feel. Even after patients have had prior treatments that did not help enough, we can still usually make a difference. If you find yourself altering or avoiding daily activities and pleasures you once enjoyed, you need our help. At UCPA our goal is to give you options and to provide you with safe and successful solutions.

What Can Be Done About SUI?

There are several different approaches depending on the specifics of your condition. These include behavioral interventions such as diet/exercise or treatments guided by a therapist such as biofeedback or physical therapy. Unlike for urge incontinence and OAB, there are no medications frequently utilized to treat SUI. Other options such as surgery can be very successful, and the procedures vary depending on the your particular problem and your own choices.

What Should I Expect When I Come For An Appointment?

First you need to make an appointment! We can’t help you if you do not confront the problem. To start we will take a specialized history and perform a careful physical examination. If you have had prior surgery for incontinence, it will be important to inform your physician. Details of prior procedures (such as operative reports), along with a list of your current medications, and completion a bladder diary which will be provided prior to your first appointment can be very helpful.

At your first appointment we will determine if the leakage can be seen during examination, if there is any evidence of other common female conditions such as prolapse, how well you are emptying your bladder, and the strength of your pelvic floor. For most women, initial treatment options will be based on these factors. However, some patients require more testing to pinpoint their individual issues such as urodynamics (bladder function testing) or cystoscopy (looking inside the bladder with a scope) may be necessary.

Conservative treatment: Most women are aware that exercises of the pelvic floor muscles or “Kegels” can help with symptoms of urinary leakage. In order to make the most of them, they need to be done correctly. Should you choose this option for your problem, we offer a network of providers who will provide a comprehensive program to improve your SUI. The program consists of biofeedback and/or physical therapy to help insure your success with the least invasive options.

Surgical treatment: Surgery can be the right choice for SUI. The procedures we most often offer for this problem are the simplest, safest, and most successful in history. They include mid-urethral and fascial slings, as well as injection of bulking agents into the urethra. In the majority of cases, when SUI is the only problem being corrected, the procedures are performed as an outpatient. They are usually not very painful, typically don’t require discharge with a catheter, and can have immediate benefits. Patients often return to work within several days, and may return to complete normal activities within 4-6 weeks. Though no option is 100% for everybody, the most common comment we hear is “I wish I would have done this sooner!”