Q:

Is surgery recommended for urinary incontinence?

A:

Quick Answer

A surgical procedure may be recommended to treat urinary incontinence if all the other non-invasive treatment options are unsuitable or unsuccessful. Most doctors recommend the least invasive treatment options before exploring the use of surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic. The course of treatment administered to a patient is determined by the type of incontinence and the severity of the symptoms.

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Full Answer

One of the surgical procedures that can be used to treat urinary incontinence is sling procedure, where surgeons insert natural tissue or synthetic mesh to support the urethra. Nerve stimulators can also be inserted under the skin to stimulate control of the pelvic region. A combination of prolapse surgery and the sling procedure can be used to treat women with pelvic organ prolapse and mixed incontinence.

Other treatments for urinary incontinence include behavioral techniques, such as diet and fluid management, bladder training and double voiding, pelvic floor muscle strengthening treatments, such as exercise and electrical stimulation, medications such as alpha blockers, mirabegron and anticholinergics, and medical devices like urethral inserts. A combination of treatments, including surgery, may be required to fully treat urinary incontinence.

If left untreated, urinary incontinence may cause urinary tract infections, skin problems. It can also negatively affect the personal, work and social life of a person.

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