Surgery may not be best answer for urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence. It is an embarrassing problem most women would prefer not to talk about. Researchers estimate that as much as 30 percent of the female population suffers from the condition. However, there are treatments available but the pros and cons should be seriously weighed.

Incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine. It can have a profound impact on one’s quality of life. There are different types of incontinence, which are almost always the result of an underlying treatable medical condition.

Treatments range from behavior management, pelvic floor exercises, medications and surgery. One of the more common types of urinary incontinence is stress urinary incontinence, or SUI. It is caused when the pelvic floor muscles weaken and are unable to properly support the bladder and other pelvic organs.

Someone who suffers from SUI may experience leaking of urine when she coughs or laughs or sneezes or even jumps on a trampoline. This condition, if serious enough, almost always requires surgery to re-suspend the bladder.

The SUI surgery involves inserting surgical mesh through tiny incisions in the abdomen and the vaginal wall. The mesh is placed under the urethra, like a sling or hammock, to keep it in its normal position. In fact, it is often called a “bladder sling.” It is a day procedure performed at a hospital. For some women, this restores their freedom, but for others, the surgery has left them with serious complications.

The problem is the surgical mesh. It is the same device used to repair another pelvic floor disorder known as pelvic organ prolapse, or POP. Surgical mesh used during the repair of POP has come under a review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after mounting reports of serious complications. The mesh has been found to erode into the organs, causing severe pain and incontinence.

While the problem is more prevalent during POP procedures, some women who have had the transvaginal mesh implanted for SUI repair have experienced similar problems. The FDA is continuing its review of transvaginal mesh.

Meanwhile, attorneys for Beasley Allen Law Firm are investigating cases of injuries allegedly caused by transvaginally implanted surgical mesh products.

Source: NBC