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New Treatment for Female Incontinence: April 21, 2012

It is stressful to say the least. Stress incontinence affects an estimated 15 million adult women in this country.

“That’s usually related to coughing, sneezing, laughing any type of athletics or exertion and risk factors can be previous surgery such as hysterectomy, delivering children, multiple children, big children, difficult labor,” says Dr. Harold Tsai, a urologist on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

Living with a leaky bladder becomes a quality of life issue.

“People drastically alter their daily life style. They stop going out. They don’t socialize with their friends. It becomes a financial issue with purchasing absorption under garments, pads, liners,” says Dr. Tsai.

Treatments range from pelvic exercises to surgery to re-suspend the bladder. Now a new technique, performed in a doctor’s office. Is providing some women relief.

“The procedure is ten minutes. We do it under local anesthetic. Women leave the office usually within an hour from the time they come in and they’re fully back to their daily activities the next day,” says Dr. Tsai.

It’s called the Renessa procedure and it uses bursts of radio frequency and heat delivered through a probe inserted through the urethra into the bladder.

“The temperature gets up to about mid 60 degrees 70 degrees Celsius and you want to have that for at least 30 seconds,” says Dr. Tsai.

That’s 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. A series of nine, 60-second exposures firms the tissue. Patients are mostly post-menopausal women seeking an alternative to surgery.

“The success rate we’re looking at is really quality of life and decreasing their symptoms,” says Dr. Tsai.

A quick procedure that takes some of the stress out of life.