Male Stress Incontinence Treatment in Indianapolis
Bladder leakage after prostate removal, also known as stress urinary incontinence, is something that no man wants to talk about. Incontinence can be embarrassing and many men feel isolated as a result. But if you’re a man struggling with urine leakage, there is hope! The men’s health specialists at Urology of Indiana has a dedicated center of excellence for helping men regain control of their urine along with their confidence and quality of life.
The men’s health specialists at Urology of Indiana provide comprehensive testing and treatment for male stress incontinence at our offices in Indianapolis. Learn about your treatment options and schedule your consultation today.
What causes stress incontinence?
When the prostate is removed for prostate cancer, it’s possible for the mechanism that men use to control their urine stream to be compromised. This muscle is known as the sphincter muscle. Although most men will leak a little immediately following prostate removal, leaking a significant amount of urine long after your prostate has been removed is not normal and deserves formal evaluation and treatment by a specialist.
Although prostate removal for prostate cancer is the most common cause of stress urinary incontinence in men, it is not the only one. Men may also experience leakage after certain other surgeries or injuries. Every man’s situation is unique and deserves a personalized approach to help achieve optimal results.
Testing for Incontinence
Incontinence is a complex problem. Although most urinary leakage after prostate removal is due to stress incontinence, some men may actually leak urine because their bladder muscle itself is irritated. This is known as urge urinary incontinence. Because these two conditions are treated differently, it’s important to distinguish between the two. This is why the men’s health specialists at Urology of Indiana believe in an evaluation that is both personalized and comprehensive.
This typically consists of detailed discussion in clinic where we want to hear your story and perform a physical exam. What started your leakage? How long has it been going on? Is there anything that improves it or makes it worse? What matters most to you as we consider different treatments? The information learned during this first conversation can be extremely helpful when weighing different treatment options.
After an initial meeting, further advanced testing may be necessary. Potential testing may include both cystoscopy and urodynamics. These tests are safe and non-invasive and allow a more comprehensive understanding of your leakage.
Treatment Options at Urology of Indiana
The initial treatment options for stress urinary incontinence include lifestyle modifications and pelvic floor exercises coupled with physical therapy.
Unfortunately, these initial measures may not be sufficient for some men. For these men, we offer a number of minimally invasive outpatient procedures that can significantly improve men’s quality of life.
There are two procedures that are considered to be the ‘gold standard’ when treating male stress urinary incontinence. These are known as the male sling and the artificial urinary sphincter.
The Male Sling
A male sling is a thin piece of mesh that is placed to both elevate and compress a man’s urethra. This is the tube that urine passes through during urination. By elevating and compressing the urethra, the male sling allows men to control their urine stream with less effort, even if their sphincter muscle isn’t as strong as it used to be.
Artificial Urinary Sphincter
The artificial urinary sphincter is a device that has been designed to duplicate what a man’s natural sphincter muscle does. A small balloon is placed around the urethra where it gently squeezes it shut, preventing unwanted leakage. Then, when a man’s bladder is full, he activates a small button hidden under the skin in the scrotum. This relaxes the artificial sphincter and allows him to empty normally. Like the male sling, the artificial urinary sphincter is a same-day minimally invasive outpatient procedure.
Which option is right for me?
The choice between the male sling or the artificial urinary sphincter is personal and should be made as a joint decision between you and your surgeon. Both procedures have different strengths and characteristics that make either choice a better fit for different patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely. Erectile dysfunction after prostate removal frequently presents hand-in-hand with urinary leakage. Both conditions can be effectively treated with minimally invasive outpatient procedures. Please visit our penile implant page to learn more about how we are able to cure erectile dysfunction following prostate removal.
Yes. At Urology of Indiana we have created a dedicated center of excellence for both erectile dysfunction and urinary leakage where both of these conditions can be treated. However, due to the complexity of each individual procedure we typically recommend that patients stage these treatments rather than having them performed simultaneously.
Leaking urine with orgasm, also known as climacturia, can be quite common in men after prostate removal. This occurs as a result of the temporary relaxation of the pelvic muscles that occurs at the point of orgasm. When coupled with mild stress incontinence, climacturia can be effectively treated with male sling placement. For men with more severe leakage, they are typically best treated with an artificial urinary sphincter.
Like any medical procedure, the male sling and artificial urinary sphincter do carry the risk for side effects. Your surgeon will discuss these with you prior to surgery so you can have a full understanding of both procedures.
Understanding that every patient is different, most men are able to return to their desk job in about a week. We recommend that men refrain from lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for the first 2 weeks. Men who have received a male sling may be asked to limit vigorous activity for a longer period of time. Most men who have received an artificial urinary sphincter will typically have their device activated approximately 6 weeks following surgery.
Although every man is different, most patients are able to return to their desk job in about a week. We recommend refraining from lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds for the first two weeks and then returning to normal activity as tolerated. Most men are able to return to full sexual function within 3-6 weeks. Please ask your physician for details about your expected recovery time.
Most commercial insurance providers, in addition to Medicare, cover the male sling and artificial urinary sphincter. As a safety measure, we check the insurance benefits of all of our patients prior to surgery to ensure all necessary paperwork is completed ahead of time.