Having an overactive bladder is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, nearly 15 percent of women are dealing with it on a chronic basis. As you may suspect, it is more prominent in women due to pregnancies, menopause, and the unique structure of the female urinary tract.
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a specific type of problem that is caused by movement or exertion. Certain movements can result in excess pressure on the bladder; which results in unintentional urine loss. In a healthy individual, the muscle surrounding the urethra, called a sphincter, is responsible for containing urine within the bladder. Our bladder walls are made up of muscles that must be relaxed for the bladder to expand. When incontinence occurs, it is because the muscles have been weakened and cannot maintain their normal function. Various events can lead to this condition; childbirth, trauma to the pelvic region, and even chronic coughing from smoking. Knowing the mechanics of urinary incontinence helps us to find a proper treatment.
The most troubling part of having an uncontrollable bladder is that it can happen at virtually any time, day or night. It can occur during laughing, sneezing, or working out. Anytime we experience strenuous physical activity could be the next embarrassing accident. As with most medical problems, being healthy can drastically reduce our risks. Being overweight can increase abdominal pressure making matters worse. A bad habit like smoking can induce coughing; which can weaken the abdominal muscles. There are different treatments available for this condition; ranging from Kegel exercises to surgery.
Kegel exercises are the clenching and unclenching of the pelvic muscles. It is accomplished by “bearing down” and releasing. Also, the use of Botox is an option. When we hear the word “Botox”, it is generally attributed to the removal of wrinkles. However, in this case Botox is used to treat and reduce daily bladder leakage.
Botox has been FDA approved for incontinence sufferers and has shown great success. It works by injecting the Botox into the bladder muscles; this allows them to relax and store more urine with less stress. Botox is not a permanent solution and needs to be re-injected every 9 to 12 months.
Durasphere injections are another option; they are bulking agents that consist of non-migratory and non-absorbable prolytic-coated graphite beads in a gel. A mouthful to say, but it’s actually a quite simple procedure to help control uncontrollable bladder leakage. The bulking agents are injected straight into the urethra to fill up the space that permits urine leakage. The injection actually thickens the bladder making it more easily retain a healthy amount of urine. The pyrolytic carbon has been used in the medical field for over 30 years in implantable medical devices and it is non-reactive to tissue. This treatment is a safe and effective, minimally invasive, outpatient procedure option for urinary incontinence.
When it comes to treating urinary incontinence, the InterStim device is the most technologically advanced. This product has been used for over 15 years with over 100,000 individuals undergoing the procedure. The small device is surgically placed underneath the skin to stimulate the sacral nerves, the nerves that control the bladder. It blocks communication between the brain and the bladder. About the size of a pacemaker, this device sends electrical pulses down to the nerves of the pelvic floor. This is a method to reduce the contractions of an overactive bladder.
Urinary incontinence is not something that will go away on its own. Proper treatment is the only way to alleviate the symptoms. If you have any questions regarding incontinence, you can contact Gulf Coast Urology at (941) 625-1550
Dr. Joseph Bilik is a recipient of Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s Hero Award and has been a Castle Connelly Top Doctor for multiple years. Dr. Bilik is board certified in urology and treats a wide range of conditions. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University and completed general surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and urological surgical training at Lahey Clinic Medical Center, where he was Chief Resident of Urology. Dr. Bilik also served as a medical officer on two U.S. Navy carriers, the last during Operation Desert Storm.
Dr. Tracy Gapin is one of the most experienced urologists with 3-D MRI Prostate imaging and targeted ultrasound fusion biopsy. He was a pioneer for HIFU, the minimally invasive FDA approved treatment for prostate cancer. He is board certified in urology, earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern. He completed a general surgery internship and urology residency at the University of Florida.
Dr. Matthew Perry completed six years of urology training at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic where he also served as chief resident and as a clinical instructor. Dr. Perry’s practice includes general urology, focusing on prostate, bladder and kidney cancers, kidney stones, prostate enlargement, erectile dysfunction and female incontinence. He also is experienced with robotic surgery and minimally invasive procedures. He has been a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for multiple years.
Dr. William Tingle is board certified in general urology with 24 years experience. Dr. Tingle has particular expertise in treatments for kidney stones, enlarged prostate, erectile dysfunction/penile prosthesis, and vasectomy; with a high success rate with vasectomy reversals. He earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, medical degree from the University of Florida and completed a surgical internship and urology residency at the university’s Shands Hospital.
Dr. Thomas Williams is board certified in adult and pediatric urology and is a sought-after speaker who conducts many free community seminars. Dr. Williams received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee, which awarded him a Research Scholarship Award, and completed his urology residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. He has been published in the Journal of Urology, was past chairman of Sarasota Memorial’s Cancer Committee, and has served on the Board of Doctor’s Hospital.
Gulf Coast Urology
21260 Olean Boulevard
Port Charlotte FL 33952