Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Matter of Control Surgery Proves Effective for Women Suffering from Overactive Bladders, Incontinence

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Matter of Control Surgery Proves Effective for Women Suffering from Overactive Bladders, Incontinence

Article excerpt

Although it is relatively common in adult women, loss of bladder control is a serious situation to those who experience it most frequently and go to their doctors for help. In addition to exercises that improve the pelvic floor muscles, there are drug and surgical options.

Halina Zyczynski, specialist in urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, recently published research reporting that out of a group of 1,600 women, most found "significant improvement" from their overactive bladder symptoms after surgery for stress urinary incontinence. She said the unexpected finding is good news for women and their doctors, adding confidence in expecting relief from overactive bladder symptoms after surgery.

Stress incontinence surgery addresses the type of unintentional urine leakage women might have when they exercise, laugh hard, cough or sneeze. Overactive bladder comes with a frequent urge to urinate, sometimes coming with a loss of urine.

Dr. Zyczynski is lead author of a study that analyzed data from three multicenter urinary incontinence surgical trials, published in the August edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study included four primary forms of surgery that construct support for the urethra and the area of the urethral sphincter, the muscle that opens and closes to control the flow of urine from the bladder. Weakness in the muscle - with an assortment of possible causes - leads to urine leakage. Along with relief from stress incontinence, all four types of surgery also relieved a bothersome urge to urinate in a majority of the women.

Most women seeking surgery for stress urinary incontinence also have overactive bladder symptoms, according to the study, which included both non-mesh and mesh urinary incontinence surgeries.

After one year, each surgery group of women reported improvement in their symptoms (amounting to 57 percent to 71 percent of the total number), and five years later about half to two-thirds (46 percent to 65 percent) of participants still reported a 70 percent decrease from their baseline urine loss/urge symptoms.

There is no proof that the surgeries themselves reduced the symptoms, according to the study. …

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