A 20-Minute Solution For Women With Stress Urinary Incontinence
About half of all women experience stress incontinence — losing urine when they cough, laugh, sneeze or exercise — at some point in life. It’s a common problem in women of all ages, including women in their 20s. Many women tell us stress incontinence limits their ability to work out or enjoy an active social life.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options to consider. Women owe it to themselves to talk to a urogynecologist, a doctor who is specially trained to treat pelvic floor disorders and bladder problems, who can partner with them to explain the various nonsurgical and surgical treatment options to find the right choice.
Many women find relief by simply adopting a few healthy habits such as losing weight or performing exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor.
Minimally invasive sling
However, behavior modification doesn’t resolve the issue for everyone. For those patients, surgical intervention is a highly successful alternative.
Since the 1990s, small devices known as midurethral slings have been effectively treating women who suffer from stress incontinence. There are studies that have followed patients for 15 years and show more than a 95% success rate.
That translates to a significant improvement in lifestyle, as women no longer have to worry about leaking urine when they laugh, sneeze or exercise.
In fact, the comment we hear most often from patients who have had the sling procedure is: “I wish I had done this sooner!”
The small sling, made from polypropylene mesh, is inserted through an incision in the vagina – using an advanced, minimally invasive surgical technique. There are no cuts to the abdomen and most women have very little pain. This procedure is the recognized worldwide standard of care for the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence, according to a position statement by the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) and the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU). Additionally, although the FDA issued a safety communication regarding vaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse, the FDA has clearly stated that the polypropylene mid-urethral sling is safe and effective in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence.
Making the decision
We perform the surgery in an outpatient center and the procedure is quick—about 20 minutes, in all. Patients don’t usually require general anesthesia or a breathing tube. Because this surgery is minimally invasive, patients can resume daily activities within 24 hours, such as driving, returning to work or taking a shower. Most patients report very little pain, only a bit of discomfort that is treated with over the counter pain medication.
But, the best news is that improvement for incontinence is usually immediate. Many patients wake up the next morning and find that they no longer leak urine when they cough or sneeze.
It’s amazing what a huge impact a simple surgery can have on women’s lives.
So who should consider a sling? For most women, that decision can occur as soon as stress incontinence begins interfering with their daily lives. We are here to consult with patients about an approach that will work for each woman as an individual. .
To learn more or make an appointment,call 800-693-CARE (2273).
Please mention you read about this treatment in The Women’s Journal.
Christiana Hospital Medical Arts Pavilion 2 302-623-4055
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Suite 1208, Newark, DE 19713
Christiana Care Center of Women’s Health 302-623-4055
3706 Kennett Pike, Greenville, DE 19807
Christiana Care Concord Health Center 610-361-1030
161 Wilmington-West Chester Pike, Chadds Ford, PA 19317
call 302-623-4055 or visit www.christianacare.org/urogynecology
You will meet highly skilled and caring physicians who are the only urogynecologists in Delaware who have completed fellowships and are board-certified in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery:
Babak Vakili, M.D., is the director of the Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery. Dr. Vakili completed his fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive Surgery at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center.
Emily K. Saks, M.D., MSCE, is a urogynecologist with the Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery. Dr. Saks completed her fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Howard B. Goldstein, D.O., MPH, is a urogynecologist with the Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery. Dr. Goldstein completed his fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey.
Matthew Fagan, M.D., MS, is a urogynecologist with the Christiana Care Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Surgery. Dr. Fagan completed his fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at Greater Baltimore Medical Center/University of Maryland.