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Bladder Control Problems (cont.)

Surgery

Surgery for urinary incontinence either corrects an anatomical problem or implants a device to alter bladder muscle function.

  • Most people do not need surgery, but most of those who have surgery become dry.
  • Like any surgery, these procedures do not work on everyone. A small number of people are not completely dry after surgery.
  • Like all surgery, these operations can have complications.
  • Each of these procedures is appropriate only for a certain type or types of incontinence.
  • A urogynecologist or urologist can advise you about which, if any, might work for you.

Types of operations used in people with incontinence include the following:

  • Altering the position of the bladder neck, which can change how urine is released from the bladder
  • Repairing or supporting severely weakened pelvic floor muscles
  • Removal of a blockage
  • Implantation of a "sling" around the urethra
  • Implantation of a device that stimulates the nerves to increase awareness of the need to urinate
  • Injection of a naturally occurring material called collagen around the urethra (This is an option for women with stress incontinence. This adds bulk to the area, which compresses the urethra. This increases resistance to urine flow. Since collagen is slowly absorbed into the body, this may have to be repeated.)
  • Injection of Botox into the bladder muscle using a cystoscope
  • Surgical placement of an artificial urinary sphincter
  • Enlargement of the bladder (considered a last resort)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/21/2014
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