The Male Sling For Stress Incontinence
The Birmingham Prostate Clinic offers the male sling, an important new development in the treatment of stress incontinence in men. Stress incontinence is defined as the involuntary loss of urine when coughing, sneezing and any other movement which places sudden pressure on the bladder.
For the majority, stress incontinence is managed and treated using pelvic exercises, bladder re-training and medication. However a number of men do not respond to these approaches and their condition becomes very distressing and debilitating.
Until recently, the only surgical option was the artificial urinary spinchter (AUS). However, the male sling offers a less invasive but very effective surgical option for men with stress incontinence.
How does the male sling work?
The male sling is made from polypropylene mesh, like the material used for the more established sling for incontinence in women. It works on the same principles as the female sling. The male sling is implanted during an operation, which takes place under general anaesthetic. The device is passed underneath the urethra through a single, small incision in the perineum and small incisions in both groins.
The male sling repositions the bulbar, the curved part of the male urethra, to provide greater urethral resistance and prevent leaks during times of higher abdominal pressure, such as during exercise or coughing. The sling has no moving parts and is active once fitted.
Is the male sling the right treatment for me?
The male sling is used to treat persistent mild to moderate stress incontinence. Stress incontinence in men can be caused as a complication of prostate cancer surgery or radiotherapy for prostate cancer. For the large majority of men having these treatments, continence returns within three to 12 months, so we would recommend that a male sling is only considered after this period of time. Men may also experience stress incontinence due to spinal cord injury, a TURP procedure and pelvic fractures.
The first step would be to come to BPC where a full assessment will take place, including a urodynamic assessment to establish the most appropriate treatment for you.