Male sling testimonial – Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis, aged 65 from Warwickshire, describes his experience of having the male sling fitted to treat stress incontinence.

“My incontinence was due to having my prostate removed following a diagnosis of prostate cancer. When I considered the operation, I knew that incontinence was a possible complication, but I also found out that a large majority of people find their continence does recover over time. I was one of the unfortunate few.

“For the first few months, I was constantly wet. It was very debilitating – I was able to do little more than change pads all the time and worry about where the nearest toilet was. I couldn’t do the activities I did before, like gardening or decorating, because after half an hour of lifting and bending, I’d have to get changed all over again.

“I had heard of the male sling. My family was incredibly supportive and through internet research and my own reading, we came across the male sling as a possible treatment. I gave it two years to see if my continence would return but by the end of 2011, it was clear that I wasn’t making progress.

“Mr Doherty said he was confident that the male sling would help. With any operation, there are no guarantees, but I said at the time, if there is an improvement of just 50 per cent, I would take that.

“I had the sling fitted in February 2012. Immediately after the operation, I felt pretty comfortable. I spent the night in hospital and the following morning, the nurse said she was going to take the catheter out. I thought ‘this is quick’ but felt very nervous lying in bed wondering what was going to happen.

“Nothing happened and after a couple of hours, I felt like I needed the toilet and passed urine, perfectly normally. After two years of severe incontinence, it was absolutely incredible to be able to wait that long, then simply go to the toilet. The effect of the sling was very immediate for me.

“I went home that day, having spent one night in hospital. I felt a little sore and tender, particularly if I sat for a while. It was very similar to how I felt after having a vasectomy. After four weeks, all the tenderness had gone, I would just have occasional pins and needles, particularly in the shower, which I found out is normal.

“Now, eight weeks after having my sling fitted, I have 100 per cent continence.

“One of the hardest things about incontinence was being a very active person and it was impossible to do the same things. I am now back in the gym and well on the way to a full workout.

“On the way home I can call in the shops or the pub never bothering where the toilets are which is a massive relief.

“I hope more men will find out about the male sling. Men are often reluctant to talk about prostate cancer and particularly incontinence, but it is so important know about this and see a doctor if you have any problems or concerns.”