More than 13 million people in the United States experience urinary incontinence. Women experience incontinence twice as often as men. Pregnancy and childbirth, menopause, and the structure of the female urinary tract account for this difference. Urinary incontinence is defined as the accidental release of urine. It can happen when you cough, sneeze, laugh, bear down, jump, or jog. Or you may have a sudden urge to go to the bathroom but cannot get there in time. Incontinence often leads to embarrassing situations where one has to change their clothes or wear sanitary pads continuously. Patients often complain that they smell like urine and are afraid to leave their home because of the fear of wetting themselves. This problem is common and completely curable.
There are two main types of urinary incontinence, some women have both.
Stress Incontinence: occurs when you sneeze, cough, laugh, jog, or do other things that put pressure on the bladder. This is the most common type of bladder control problem in women. Stress incontinence can be caused by childbirth, weight gain, or other conditions that stretch the pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles cannot support the bladder or urethra properly, they drop down and urine leaks out.
Urge Incontinence: happens when you have a strong desire or need to urinate but can’t make it to the toilet on time. Some women may have no warning before they accidentally leak urine. Other women may leak urine when they hear or touch running water. This is caused by an overactive bladder muscle that involuntarily begins to contract as urine fills the bladder, eventually leading to leakage.
Mixed incontinence is a combination of stress and urge incontinence. Some patients will need to undergo urodynamic testing in the office to determine the severity and cause of their incontinence. This sophisticated fiber optic computerized testing is performed by experienced cosmetic surgeon by Dr. Lowney and a nurse specially trained in female incontinence problems. It is painless and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Results are immediate and a treatment plan is initiated.
Treatment plans are designed specifically for each individual patient and may include physical therapy, medication or surgery. Dr Lowney has received advanced training in all of the different types of female urinary incontinence surgery including laparoscopic Burch colposuspension, transvaginal taping urethropexy (TVT), transobturator slings (TOT), and MiniArc slings. He has received urinary incontinence training from world famous urogynecologists and pelvic reconstructive gynecologic surgeons including Dr David Nichols, Dr Neil Jackson, Dr Peter Rosenblatt, and Dr Neeraj Kohli.