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New Treatment for Stress Incontinence: January 16, 2012

“This was for freestyle, this was for backstroke and this was for freestyle.”

Suzy Nothouse is an accomplished swimmer. This is some of the hardware she won at the Senior Olympics.

“These I got in Houston this past year and this one I got in San Francisco two years ago.”

She was less eager to discuss a common health condition that made it difficult to stay dry. Suzy struggled with urinary stress incontinence for the last twenty years.

“It was just a leakage, always at the wrong time. If you stand up suddenly you’ll dribble or if you bend over sometimes you’ll dribble or if you sneeze or cough you might dribble.”

Being active is very important to Suzy so at 92 years old she took the plunge and did something about her condition.

“There’s a procedure called a Renessa procedure, it’s an office based procedure that takes literally ten minutes to perform,” says Dr. Harold Tsai, a urologist with Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

It is brief and almost painless and doesn’t involve cutting.

“It actually functions through something called radio frequency. There’s a probe that’s inserted into the bladder and a balloon is inflated to anchor the probe so it stays in,” says Dr. Tsai.

Needles come out of the probe and deliver the radio frequency in nine, 60-second cycles. Temperatures get up to 140° Fahrenheit.

“It’s basically increasing the firmness of the collagen so when there’s increase force or pressure its able to store the urine and prevent leakage episodes,” says Dr. Tsai.

Patients are back to their normal activities within a day and notice maximum benefit in about three months.

“Most older women, the people that I know they all say ‘oh I have that I’ve had that all my life you know’ but you just need to go have something done,” says Suzy.

“Everyone’s different. Some people experience more results than others. Out of every ten patients that come in, I would say we see six or seven that say this is actually helped them,” says Dr. Tsai.

A simple procedure that can lead to stress free living.