A new procedure for treating urinary incontinence in women has been approved for use in the United Kingdom. The innovative new injection therapy offers another alternative to women who are seeking treatment for this common condition.
Urinary incontinence is a bladder weakness that can be caused by age, childbirth, or weight gain. Special exercises are the least invasive option, but one of the more common procedures is the vaginal insertion of surgical mesh, also known as a bladder sling. The product is far from flawless. In some women, the mesh has eroded into the vaginal wall, causing excruciating pain and a return of incontinence. This problem has led to repeat surgeries and hospitalizations.
Between 2008 and 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received 1,503 reports of adverse events associated with the mesh – five times more than what had been reported between 2005 and 2007. Problems were most common for women who received the transvaginal mesh for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse (POP), which can cause urinary incontinence.
In search of a better solution, Steve Foley, Consultant Urologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, has pioneered a new treatment for bladder weakness – urethral bulking. This is achieved through injection therapy, a minimally invasive procedure that can be carried out under local sedation. It involves the injection of a gel called Deflux, which is injected into the urethra endoscopically. This creates a bulking effect, which helps prevent urine leakage. The results are almost immediate and following treatment, patients can return to normal activity within 24-48 hours. The gel remains in place for at least four years.
Clinical trials on the gel show an increased quality of life for women who have undergone this procedure compared to typical surgery. A typical “cure rate” for Deflux is excellent for the mild to moderate incontinence groups and satisfactory for the severely incontinent.
Source: Response Source