Urinary incontinence, also known as bladder leakage, can have a significant negative impact on all aspects of a man’s life, ranging from mental health to social and physical functioning. That’s why Alexander Rozanski, MD, a urologist at UT Health San Antonio, is working to help men understand their treatment options and take action to restore normalcy and renew confidence.
Why it happens and who it affects
Male stress urinary incontinence (SUI), also known as bladder leakage, affects as many as 50% of men immediately following surgery for prostate cancer. Most improve within the initial weeks or months, but between 9%-16% of men will have persistent SUI one year after surgery. SUI can also be a result of neurologic disorders, enlarged prostate surgery, pelvic radiation therapy or pelvic trauma.
“Unfortunately, not all patients are able to regain their continence following prostate cancer treatment,” Dr. Rozanski said. “Luckily, we have state of the art treatment options that provide life-changing, dependable solutions for these patients.”
The urologists at UT Health Physicians are extensively trained in treating male urinary incontinence. The treatment each patient receives is tailored to address their unique symptoms, concerns and goals.
“We are diligent about scheduling patients quickly so that we can perform their evaluation and determine the best treatment options for helping them return to their normal lifestyle as soon as possible,” Dr. Rozanski said.
There are both short-term and long-term treatment options, however many patients report that short-term coping strategies, such as urinary pads/diapers or penile incontinence clamps, become burdensome and problematic over time. Alternatively, there are dependable long-term treatment options that provide patients a range of lasting benefits.
“Since coping with short-term options can become expensive over time and are often uncomfortable, permanent solutions for male incontinence, including the male sling and artificial urinary sphincter, are regularly chosen as a man’s best options for managing incontinence,” Dr. Rozanski said.
The male sling is a minimally-invasive procedure designed to support the urethra to better control urinary leakage for men with mild to moderate incontinence. Its positive impact is immediate and normal activities can often be resumed within one or two weeks after the procedure. Unlike short-term options, there is no patient interaction with the male sling once it is inserted. It works on its own to help restore urinary continence.
An artificial urinary sphincter mimics a man’s own healthy urinary sphincter muscle, allowing him to control his urine until urination is desired or needed. It offers most men with a weakened sphincter muscle the ability to achieve urinary continence. It can be used for all severities of incontinence and represents the “gold standard” treatment option for this condition. The device is placed entirely inside the body and is undetectable from the outside.
“If you are bothered by your leakage, take action to regain confidence and improve your quality of life,” Dr. Rozanski said. “We’re here to help patients understand all of their options and answer their questions about the short-term and long-term treatments available to them.”
To learn more about male stress urinary incontinence, watch a men's health video here.