Treating Female Incontinence: November 29, 2011

It’s a problem many women have, but few are willing to speak about.  Some figures show 30% of our female population suffers from urinary incontinence.

“Incontinence is leakage of urine when you don’t expect to leak,” says Dr. Sarah DiGiorgi, an obstetrician/gynecologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

Dr. DiGiorgi says there are several causes for it; many of her cases involved urinary stress incontinence.

“There is incontinence related to an anatomical problem where the bladder is not well supported and that causes stress incontinence. And the symptoms of stress incontinence would be leaking when you cough or laugh or sneeze or jump on a trampoline - that kind of stuff,” says Dr. DiGiorgi.

Invasive surgery used to be the only option for many women. But now there’s a new, less intrusive technique, to stop this going problem.

“That requires a surgical correction, where the bladder needs to be re-suspended and there’s a very small tape that we use called a trans vaginal tape. It’s a day outpatient procedure done in the hospital that helps to support the bladder neck so that when you cough and laugh and sneeze, urine is not sneaking past,” says Dr. DiGiorgi.

In a TVT surgery, the mesh tape is placed under your urethra, like a sling or hammock, to keep it in its normal position. The tape is inserted through tiny incisions in the abdomen and vaginal wall. Recovery time is cut in half and it doesn’t require general anesthesia.

“There are lots of things amazing things that can be done,” says Dr. DiGiorgi.

Procedures like this, give women the freedom to move around, not just run to the bathroom.