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Comparing Solutions for Incontinence After Prostate Surgery

When you undergo prostate surgery, one of the potential side effects is urinary incontinence. The prostate’s proximity to the bladder and urethra requires the surgeon to practice extreme precision. Slight damage to the nerves and muscles of the bladder, urethra, or urethral sphincter during the procedure could cause urinary incontinence.

For the majority of men, incontinence after prostate surgery is temporary. It goes away within the first year. For others, it may continue for a longer period. Exploring effective solutions to this problem can help you improve your quality of life.

Non-Invasive Incontinence Solutions

To speed up recovery from prostate surgery, your doctor may recommend several non-invasive solutions, including:

  • Pelvic floor exercisespelvic muscle floor training (PMFT) can improve urinary control and reduce leakage. The most well-known PMFT type is Kegel exercises.
  • Dietary modifications – to keep your bladder under control, you may have to avoid such irritants as caffeine and alcohol.
  • Bladder training techniques – such techniques as scheduled voiding or delayed urination can “train” the bladder to hold urine for longer periods to prevent leakage episodes.

The key to ensuring the success of these solutions is implementing them regularly according to the doctor’s recommendations.  

External Incontinence Solutions

External solutions are also a non-invasive approach to incontinence after prostate surgery. They are:

  • Penile clamps – these external clamps put pressure on the urethra and compensate for the improper work of the urethral sphincter.
  • External catheters – also known as condom catheters, these devices collect urine through a sheath placed over the penis.
  • Absorbent pads and diapers – these products protect against unexpected leaks, especially for people with severe forms of incontinence.

While external devices aren’t always convenient, they can make your everyday life easier. Your doctor will help you choose the most suitable option for your needs.

Medications for Incontinence

Some medications may be highly effective in managing incontinence after prostate surgery. They include:

  • Anticholinergic drugs – this medication helps relax the bladder muscles to reduce the feeling of urgency and help the bladder hold more urine.
  • Alpha-blockers – these drugs relax the smooth muscle of the bladder neck and make it easier to urinate.
  • Hormonal therapyserotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors can decrease the symptoms of incontinence by improving the work of the urethral sphincter.

Hormonal therapy is a temporary solution. Before taking advantage of it, you need to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor.

Surgical Treatments for Incontinence

If non-invasive solutions and medications don’t yield the desired results, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment options for incontinence. Some of them may be:

  • Artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) – this device placed around the urethra to control urine flow allows for manual control over urinary function.
  • Urethral sling procedures – the surgeon puts a supportive mesh-like sling around the urethral bulb to compress and move the urethra into another position.
  • Urethral bulking agents – a bulking agent is injected into the wall of the urethra to strengthen its sides and help it seal tightly.

Each one of these procedures has counterindications. That’s why professional medical evaluation is necessary.

Comparing Effectiveness and Further Considerations

To choose the right option for your needs, you have to consider such factors as possible side effects, risks, costs, and success rates.

During a consultation, you and your doctor will discuss the effects these solutions can have on your lifestyle. In many cases, the slight discomfort that some of these options bring is offset by the alleviation of the incontinence issues.

The benefits of each of these solutions can vary from person to person. Before recommending one of them, a medical professional has to consider several factors, including:

  • Medical history
  • Severity of incontinence
  • Age

Your preferences play a major role in the selection of the solution. You would have to consider your lifestyle to make sure the chosen option doesn’t interfere with your daily activities.

Find Post-Prostate Surgery Incontinence Solutions in Middle Tennessee

If you are having incontinence issues after prostate surgery, many treatment options are available. Determining which one is the best for you requires a consultation with an experienced medical professional.

At the Incontinence Institute in Middle Tennessee, we have a team of certified urologists who have experience administering all treatment solutions. We’re focused on finding the most effective, personalized solution for each patient. To schedule a consultation, contact our team and learn more about the treatment options we offer.

Penile Implants and Their Role in Addressing Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a failure to achieve and maintain an erection. It is a highly common condition impacting more than 30 million men in the United States. Causes for ED vary from physical or psychological factors to a combination of both. They include hormonal imbalance, diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, and many more.

The psychological impact of erectile dysfunction is tremendous. When faced with ED, many men become depressed. They feel insecure, emasculated, and isolated. The stigma associated with the inability to achieve an erection often keeps men from seeking medical assistance.

Thankfully, many ways to address this condition exist, varying from lifestyle changes to surgery.

Common Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction

The most common options for treating ED are:

  • Phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) in the oral form
  • Testosterone therapy may be recommended when blood tests demonstrate low testosterone levels
  • Penile injections or intraurethral medications that improve blood flow to the penis
  • Vacuum erection devices (also called vacuum pumps or penis pumps)

If these methods don’t resolve the issue, your doctor may recommend a surgical approach, otherwise known as implementing a penial implant, or penile prosthesis.

What is a Penile Implant?

A penile implant, or prosthesis, is a surgically inserted device that allows a man to achieve an erection. There are two main types:

Inflatable Implants

Inflatable implants, the most common type of penile prostheses, require the surgical implementation of cylinders inside the penis and a fluid reservoir filled with salt water. Depending on the type of inflatable implant, the reservoir is located either in the abdominal wall (3-piece penile implant) or the scrotum (2-piece penile implant).

To achieve an erection, you can pump fluid from the reservoir into the cylinders inside the penis. Then you can drain the salt water back into the reservoir.

Semirigid Rod Implants

Semirigid rod implants are made of two bendable tubes made of silicone materials or coiled wires. Once they are placed inside the penis, you can bend it in the desired position and achieve an erection.

Assessing the Benefits and Risks of Penile Implants

Similar to other ED treatments, a penile prosthesis has several advantages and disadvantages.

Pros:

  • Restores erectile function when other methods fail
  • Improves sexual satisfaction
  • Provides a long-term solution for erectile dysfunction
  • Improves self-confidence

Cons:

  • Surgical procedure required
  • Risk of infection
  • Potential for mechanical failures

Besides infection, such procedures could cause excessive bleeding, scarring, and post-surgical pain and discomfort.

The Surgical Procedure

Penile implant surgery can be done with local or general anesthesia. Once the surgeon administers the anesthesia, they make an incision in the lower abdomen, above the penis base, or the scrotum. The location of the incision depends on the type of implant you are getting.

The doctor will spread the tissue to make space for the implant and insert all of the pieces of the device into the penis. If you are getting an inflatable implant, the surgeon will place a fluid reservoir in the abdomen or the scrotum.

Once the prosthesis is in place, the surgeon will close the incisions using sutures or surgical staples. They may also apply dressings or bandages to aid in the healing process.

The recovery period following the surgery is fairly short. While many patients resume normal activities after one to two weeks, it’s not uncommon to expect to wait six weeks post-surgery to resume sexual activity. Your surgeon will be able to make a formal recommendation.

Make an Informed Decision: Consult the Experts

While a penile prosthesis may be an excellent solution for people who struggle with ED, it may not be the best solution for you. Deciding whether a penile implant can be beneficial for resolving your erectile dysfunction will require a consultation with a professional urologist. Together, you will consider factors like health status, age, personal preferences, and risk tolerance.

At the Incontinence Institute in Middle Tennessee, we have a network of experienced urologists who have helped many patients tackle ED. If you’re interested in learning more, consider visiting our resource on erectile dysfunction.  If you’re ready to take the first step toward resolution, contact our discreet medical concierge to discuss your case and the effective treatment options our team of urologists can provide.

Urinary Incontinence Treatment: Is an Artificial Urinary Sphincter Right for You?

While the exact number may vary based on definition, data suggests that roughly 13 million people experience urinary incontinence. This condition causes you to leak urine involuntarily and significantly impacts your life. 

Fortunately, urinary incontinence is not something you have to fight alone, as various treatment options can help address the condition. One such solution may be an Artificial Urinary Sphincter (AUS).

What Is an Artificial Urinary Sphincter (AUS)?

When it comes to controlling when and where you urinate, the body has a circular, muscular structure called the sphincter that regulates the release of urine from the bladder.

Designed to mimic the sphincter’s functionality, an AUS is a small implantable device that restores your control over the bladder. 

To effectively perform its functions, an artificial urinary sphincter has several components working in tandem. These components include a cuff, a pump, and a reservoir, all working together to replicate the sphincter’s function.

Benefits of Using an Artificial Urinary Sphincter

Beyond causing UTI infections and skin problems, urinary incontinence can have significant psychological and social impacts, leading to isolation, depression, and anxiety.

Fortunately, an AUS offers several benefits that help address these challenges:

  • Effectiveness: Artificial urinary sphincters have high success rates in resolving incontinence issues, and the device typically lasts for many years.
  • Improved Quality of Life: Choosing AUS can restore confidence, enhance comfort, reduce urinary accidents, and reduce reliance on pads.
  • Adjustability: One of the unique advantages of AUS is its adjustability, allowing users to customize the device’s pressure for individual comfort and effectiveness.
  • Safety Profile: There’s an established history of using the device, and continuous improvements have made the procedure safer and more reliable over time.

Risks and Potential Complications of AUS

However, like any medical procedure, AUS is not without its potential drawbacks and risks.

  • Surgical Risks: The implantation of AUS involves surgery, which carries the possibility of infection, bleeding, and anesthesia complications.
  • Device Malfunctions: While rare, AUS can experience mechanical failures over time.
  • Erosion or Tissue Damage: There is a slight risk of the device causing wear and tear on surrounding tissues.
  • Need for Revisions or Replacements: As with any medical device, there’s a lifespan to consider, which may lead to future surgeries for modifications or replacements.
  • Cost and Insurance Considerations: Knowing the potential out-of-pocket costs and the variability in insurance coverage for AUS is important.

Who is a Candidate for AUS?

With as common as urinary incontinence is, and the number of treatment options available, getting an AUS may not be suitable for everyone. While an AUS device is often considered for individuals with severe urinary incontinence, you’ll want to discuss your candidacy with a physician to determine whether other treatment options would be more appropriate.

In understanding your current symptoms, severity, treatment history, and current health of the bladder, a healthcare professional will comprehensively evaluate your options.

Alternatives to AUS

Before settling on an AUS, it’s essential to consider if other treatment options may be more suitable for you. Such medical interventions to consider include:

  • Other Surgical Options: There are alternative surgical procedures, such as bladder sling procedures and the use of bulking agents, that can address urinary incontinence.
  • Non-Surgical Treatments: Non-surgical options include medications and pelvic floor exercises, which may suit some individuals.

Making the Right Choice 

Dealing with urinary incontinence is challenging and can significantly impact your life. We understand that finding a solution is at the top of your priority list. The Incontinence Institute is here to guide you every step of the way. Contact our medical concierge to learn more about artificial urinary sphincters and schedule an appointment with a physician.

The Impact of Hormone Therapy on Urinary Incontinence

Have you been struggling to hold in your urine? You are not alone. According to a study published in the Journal of American Urogynecologic Society, over 60% of adult women in the US suffer from this embarrassing condition. It is known as urinary incontinence (UI) and is a common postmenopausal ailment. Some of its other risk factors include pregnancy and multiple vaginal births.  

One of the treatments you may be recommended for managing UI is hormonal therapy. In addition to treating urinary incontinence, this therapy relieves several other postmenopausal conditions, such as vaginal dryness, night sweats, and hot flashes.  

What Is Hormone Therapy? 

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a form of treatment that involves the administration of hormones, particularly estrogen, progestin (a form of progesterone), or both. A woman’s body stops producing these hormones after menopause, leading to conditions such as urinary incontinence. Reintroducing the hormones in various forms, including pills, patches, creams, and vaginal rings, can help reverse the effects of these ailments. 

Estrogen and the Urinary System

Estrogen is a hormone produced naturally in women within the ovaries. Its functions include: 

  • Keeping the vagina healthy
  • Thickening the lining of the uterus in preparation for implantation
  • Maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood
  • Assisting in curbing osteoporosis 
  • Influencing the use of calcium in the body 

HRT for Postmenopausal Women

If you are past menopause, getting a hormonal therapy prescription can boost your estrogen levels. Research suggests that it can help lower UI symptoms since more estrogen in the body leads to stronger and more elastic urinary tract tissues. 

HRT for Prostate Cancer Patients

Prostate cancer comes about due to the stimulation of cancer cells by hormones known as androgens. Testosterone is one of the most known androgens. Hormone therapy assists in killing prostate cancer cells or stunting their growth.   

HRT in Gender Transitioning

Hormone therapy helps in aligning an individual’s body with their identity. The treatment is administered to transgender individuals through a process known as gender affirmation, which blocks male hormones while activating the female ones, or vice versa, depending on your preferred gender. 

How Hormone Replacement Therapy Impacts Urinary Incontinence   

The effect that HRT has on UI depends on the kind of treatment conducted. Below is how they vary. 

Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT)

There are two ways of administering this treatment: 

  1. Estrogen therapy. This form of treatment helps in thickening and strengthening the genitourinary tract. By strengthening these tissues, it can lower the symptoms of UI, including stress incontinence and urine leaks.
  2. Combined (estrogen and progestin) therapy. For this mode of treatment, the impact on UI can vary. While estrogen can help reduce the symptoms, progestin can, at times, counteract the benefits gained. 

Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT)

Whereas ADT effectively slows and controls cancer growth, it may have adverse side effects such as urinary incontinence. The treatment resulting in lower testosterone levels could weaken the pelvic floor muscles, leading to UI. As a result, interventions such as pelvic exercises may be necessary in managing UI if you are getting ADT. 

Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy (GAHT) 

The impact of GAHT on urinary incontinence largely depends on the type of hormones used in your procedure. For transgender women (assigned male at birth), the process results in reduced testosterone and thus could lead to relaxed pelvic floor muscles. As a result, you may experience urge incontinence, stress incontinence, and other forms of UI. 

For transgender men (assigned female at birth), the process results in decreased estrogen levels. It may lead to an overactive bladder and problems emptying the bladder

Hormone Therapy Risks and Considerations

While this therapy is beneficial to many women undergoing menopause and those experiencing urinary incontinence due to other reasons, it is also risky. The significant side effects associated with it include: 

  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Breast soreness
  • Bloating
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Water retention
  • Nausea 

The treatment is also known to increase the chances of the following: 

  • Blood clots and stroke
  • Endometrial cancer (only in those who still have their uterus intact and are not taking progestin alongside estrogen)
  • Breast cancer upon long-term use
  • Dementia if one starts the treatment after midlife
  • Gallstone/ gallbladder issues  

If you are considering hormone therapy, reviewing the potential risks and benefits individually with your healthcare provider is essential. 

Alternative Treatments and Management

A number of substitute treatments exist for hormonal therapy, including: 

  • Alternative medicine, such as homeopathy, acupuncture, and acupressure 
  • Bladder training
  • Herbal medicine
  • Complementary therapy, where several interventions are used alongside traditional medicine
  • Non-hormonal prescriptions, such as antidepressants
  • Exercises and lifestyle changes that can help to manage symptoms

Urinary Incontinence Treatment in Middle Tennessee

Urinary incontinence is a prevalent condition affecting many individuals, particularly postmenopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy can help alleviate this affliction, mainly through estrogen supplementation to help revive the vigor of your reproductive tract. However, this therapy has several risks, and you should only do it after consulting with your doctor to know what is best for your unique case. If you have additional questions about the impact of hormone therapy on UI or about UI in general, contact our team to speak to a medical concierge.

Overview, Prevention Tips, and Home Remedies for UTIs

At least 3 in 25 men and 10 in 25 women acquire urinary tract infections once in their lifetime. UTIs occur when bacteria from the digestive tract infect your kidneys, ureter, urethra, or bladder.

Like any disease, urinary tract infections present with an array of discomforts. For instance, they cause pelvic pain and a burning sensation when urinating. UTIs also cause a strong urge to urinate, which can be intense for people with urinary incontinence.

Understanding Urinary Incontinence (UI)

Urinary incontinence impairs one’s ability to control their bladder. Typically, this condition results from weakened pelvic floor muscles or nerve damage. Doctors may categorize it into one of the following incontinence types:

  • Stress incontinence: In this type of UI, urine leaks upon exerting pressure on the bladder. This pressure may be a result of activities such as coughing or laughing.
  • Urge incontinence: People with urge incontinence get a sudden and intense urge to urinate. The urge often leads to involuntary leakage before getting to the restroom.
  • Functional incontinence: Functional incontinence affects people with physical and mental limitations. These impairments, similarly, prevent patients from accessing the restroom in time.
  • Overflow incontinence: Patients with overflow incontinence have intermittent dribbling of urine.

Although not related, urinary tract infections often complicate UI. Patients with UTI and UI experience heightened urgency and frequency of urination. They find it hard to control their bladder.

Causes of UTIs

Escherichia coli is the major culprit for urinary tract infections. Normally, these microbes reside in the gastrointestinal tract and find their way into the urinary tract through the urethra. While UTIs affect anyone, some people are at greater risk. These individuals include:

  • Females
  • Sexually active people
  • Women at menopause
  • People with a suppressed immune system
  • Patients using a catheter

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional

While you can manage UTI symptoms at home, you should always seek a doctor’s counsel. Doctors can prescribe the right medication to prevent complications and recurrence. In particular, you should consult a doctor under the following circumstances:

  • Persistent, severe symptoms
  • Presence of blood in urine
  • Recurring UTIs

Home Remedies for UTIs

The most common remedies you’d want to try out when treating a UTI include:

1. Drinking Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water increases urine production. In return, the urine helps flush bacteria in the bladder and urethra. To flush out the bacteria, take at least 1.5 liters or 12 8-ounce cups of water daily.

2. Cranberry Juice

Cranberry is not a new remedy in the realm of medicine. People have used it to treat bladder and kidney infections for centuries. The juice’s medicinal value is linked to proanthocyanidins, a compound that prevents E. coli from sticking to urinary tract linings.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps manage UTIs in two main ways. For one, it supports the production of white blood cells, which fight infections. Moreover, the vitamins acidify urine, eliminating bacteria in the urinary tract.

4. Probiotics

Probiotics reduce the risk of UTIs by helping maintain a healthy gut and urinary tract flora. These good bacteria are available in fermented foods like yogurt. Moreover, you can purchase them as dietary supplements.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda neutralizes the acidity of urine, reducing discomfort during urination. Using baking soda as a UTI remedy is straightforward. Dissolve half or one teaspoon in a glass of water. Take the mixture on an empty stomach.

6. Avoiding Irritants

Avoid douches, powders, and personal care products with irritants when you have a UTI. The irritants can exacerbate more discomfort in the genital area. Use fragrance-free products as they don’t have harsh chemicals.

7. Applying Heat

Suppose your UTI causes pain, soak a clean cloth or towel in warm water. Afterward, use the towel to warm-compress the lower abdomen. The compressions will help soothe cramping. Always ensure the compresses are not too hot so you don’t hurt your skin.

8. Emptying the Bladder Regularly

When nursing a UTI, urinate frequently to flush out bacteria in the urinary tract. Avoid holding in urine, as that can cause more discomfort.

Prevention Tips

There are many ways to prevent UTIs. For one, you can wipe from front to back after using the restroom. This practice minimizes the risk of spreading bacteria.

Other ways to keep the risk of UTI low include:

  • Urinating before and after sexual activity
  • Wearing breathable cotton underwear
  • Avoiding tight-fitting pants

Manage Your UTIs at Home

There are many remedies for UTIs, from taking enough water to warm compresses. Some of these treatment options reduce symptoms like pain, and others flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract. 

Since the home remedies don’t treat the root cause, ensure you seek medical attention alongside using the home remedies. Otherwise, the infections could spread to the kidneys and cause complications.

If you are experiencing symptoms of UTIs or urge incontinence, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Here at the Incontinence Institute, we can help you navigate the challenges associated with incontinence.  Contact us today for more information. 

Taking Control of Prostate Health: Awareness Month Insights

In the United States, over 3 million men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer are still alive today, thanks in part to the health, fundraising, and educational activities of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. 

What and When is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month?

In 1989, Dr. David E. Crawford reached out to several organizations and individuals to form the Prostate  Cancer Education Council with the aim of spreading awareness about the disease in order to increase early detection rates. That same year, the Council launched Prostate Cancer Awareness Week in the third week of September. 

Ten years later, the Urology Care Foundation designated the entire month of September Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and in 2015 President Obama proclaimed National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

 Throughout the month, organizations across the country participate in charitable activities, educational events, and health screenings in order to:

  • Educate men and their loved ones about the risks, signs, and symptoms of prostate cancer
  • Provide life-saving prostate health screenings to increase early detection rates
  • Offer fundraising activities to help organizations that support prostate cancer patients and families
  • Campaign for research and public policies that help better manage and treat the condition

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month begins September 1st, and a light blue ribbon is worn to represent support. The Prostate Cancer Foundation provides activity ideas if you’d like to get involved.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a condition in which normal prostate cells become abnormal, and grow out of control. It affects the prostate gland, which is a gland located in the male groin that’s similar in size to a golf ball. 

When healthy, the prostate gland uses hormones called ‘androgens’ (such as testosterone) to regulate normal reproduction and male sexual characteristics. 

However, when cancer cells reproduce in the prostate gland, they use these androgens as their energy source in order to grow out of control and stop the healthy prostate cells from working properly. 

Each year approximately 248,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and those 55 and older are at increased risk. For non-Hispanic African American men and those with a family history of the disease, the risk may increase beginning as early as 40 years old.

It’s recommended to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about yearly prostate health screenings once you reach the age of increased risk. This helps cut down on the chances of prostate cancer spreading, or metastasizing, to the tissues and organs surrounding the prostate gland and increases your chances of successful treatment.

What Causes Prostate Cancer?

The exact cause of prostate cancer is still unknown. Risk factors for the condition include:

Inherited Gene Mutations

Research indicates that certain inherited gene mutations can change prostate cells from normal-functioning to cancerous. These are mutations that are handed down from family members. For example, ‘tumor suppressor genes’ help repair DNA mutations, regulate cell growth, and properly trigger cell death. Likewise, genes known as ‘oncogenes’ ensure healthy cell division, growth, and lifecycles. It’s estimated that about 10% of prostate cancer is due to mutations in these tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes. This means that these genes’ normal healthy repair and regulation functions stop working, making it easier for prostate cancer cells to thrive.  

Acquired Gene Mutations

Acquired gene mutations are another underlying cause of prostate cancer. These are gene mutations that happen during men’s lifetimes, and they can lead to DNA cell replication errors that cause out-of-control growth of cancer cells. While it’s not always known why acquired gene mutations occur, they have been linked to certain lifestyle factors such as poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Naturally high levels of androgens may be another risk factor, and research is ongoing to determine the exact reasons these gene mutations occur.

Prostate Cancer and Incontinence

Does prostate cancer cause incontinence?

Prostate cancer may increase your risk of developing incontinence. There are actually a few reasons why prostate cancer and incontinence may occur:

  • An enlarged prostate gland: This can occur due to tumor growth or inflammation. The gland’s enlarged size puts pressure on the urethra. 
  • Post-surgical incontinence: Prostate surgery may weaken the muscles that control urine flow.  

When there’s pressure on the urethra, it narrows and this can lead to stress incontinence.  This happens when you cough, sneeze, or exert yourself physically.  The other type of incontinence is known as urge incontinence, and it’s an involuntary contraction of the bladder muscles. Both of these are types of urinary incontinence.

Prostate cancer incontinence can also occur due to radiotherapy therapy treatment or surgery that causes an injury or weakness in the rectal muscle layer.  This is known as fecal incontinence.

Advanced prostate cancer that spreads to the spine and forms tumors that damage the nerves controlling the bowels and bladder is a much less common cause of urinary and fecal incontinence.  

To find out if you might be experiencing prostate cancer incontinence, take our Urinary Incontinence Self-Assessment and Fecal Incontinence Self-Assessment.

How to Treat Prostate Cancer Incontinence

Incontinence related to prostate cancer may last just a few days or weeks, or it might be ongoing for several months or longer. Here are several treatment options available to help you better manage your symptoms, heal after treatment, and regain more control over your life.

  • Behavioral: Changing certain lifestyle habits can help you better manage prostate cancer incontinence. This would include keeping a regular urination schedule and monitoring when and how often you drink liquids. Certain dietary modifications can be helpful as well, especially for fecal (bowel) incontinence.
  • Medical: Urethral sling implants can be surgically inserted around the urethra and connected to the urinary wall to help with urine retention, especially for those dealing with stress incontinence. Hemorrhoid banding is used to block off blood supply to internal or sometimes external hemorrhoids that form as a consequence of fecal (bowel) incontinence. Artificial urinary sphincter pumps can be implanted under your stomach muscles to allow you to control when you release your urine manually. In addition, Botox® Treatment may be used for reducing overstimulation of the nerves connected to your bladder.
  • Exercises: Pelvic floor exercises like Kegels help strengthen your muscles so you gain control of your bladder and bowel.  Working with a physical therapist who utilizes biofeedback helps pinpoint the areas that need work so a personalized training plan can be set up for you.
  • Medications: There are several medications your doctor can prescribe to help with your symptoms, depending on the underlying cause of your incontinence. They include alpha-blockers, mirabegron, anticholinergics, Metamucil, and medications to help alleviate diarrhea. These typically will be in the form of a pill, liquid, or powder supplement, or sometimes a patch or cream.
  • Sacral Nerve Stimulation: This is a type of therapy that delivers tiny electrical impulses in order to regulate sacral nerve activity, which helps the nerves interpret brain signals properly in order to control bladder and bowel functioning. To send these electrical impulses, a device is implanted under the skin in the pelvic region above the buttocks. The types of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) devices include:
    • InterStim: The InterStim II doesn’t need recharging and should be replaced every 5 years, while the InterStim Micro device needs to be recharged once a week for 20 minutes, and replaced every 15 years.
    • Axonics: This is the wireless version of an SNS therapy device. It requires recharging once a month for about an hour and is replaced every 15 years. 

Contact us today at the Incontinence Institute to connect with a doctor in the network who will work with you to diagnose and treat your prostate cancer-related incontinence symptoms.

What to Expect After Gallbladder Removal Surgery

Surgical removal of the gallbladder is a highly effective treatment for gallstones, offered in two main forms: open and laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

In the traditional open approach, patients usually stay in the hospital for two to three days. The surgeon makes a large six-inch incision in the abdomen to access and remove the gallbladder. Sometimes drainage tubes may be inserted to help remove fluids, and are typically removed after a few days.

The laparoscopic procedure, however, is less invasive. The surgeon creates four small incisions in the abdomen and uses a small video camera (laparoscope) to guide the removal of the gallbladder. This is typically done as an outpatient procedure, but proper postoperative care and lifestyle adjustments are vital for a speedy recovery and a smooth return to daily life. 

Eating and Dieting After Gallbladder Surgery

The gallbladder has a vital role in digestion by storing, concentrating, and releasing bile, a liquid produced by the liver that aids in breaking down fatty foods.

When gallbladder surgery is needed, its absence doesn’t disrupt digestion much. Instead of being stored, bile goes directly from the liver to the small intestine. However, as your body gets used to this change, you might struggle with digesting certain foods in the first few weeks after the surgery.

During your home recovery, start by slowly reintroducing foods through dietary modification. Begin with clear liquids and soft foods to ease your digestive system back into action. You can gradually add low-fat and easy-to-digest foods to your diet as you feel better. If you experience bloating, diarrhea, or gas, you should temporarily avoid some foods. Opt for smaller, more nutritious meals like lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables while skipping high-fat, fried, and spicy foods. For most people, getting back to a regular diet takes about a month after gallbladder surgery.

Stomach Changes After Gallbladder Surgery

It’s quite common to experience mild swelling and bloating after gallbladder surgery. Surgical gas is introduced into the stomach cavity during the surgical procedure to create sufficient room for the surgeon to work. Despite efforts to eliminate most of this gas after the surgery, some remain in the body. As a result, you might feel discomfort and bloating in your stomach.

This initial swelling following gallbladder surgery is perfectly normal. Although this effect is unavoidable, it’s temporary and manageable, and in most cases, the swelling should subside within a few weeks after the surgery.

Signs of Complications After Gallbladder Surgery

Apart from the expected digestive effects, gallbladder removal carries a small risk of complications. These include: 

  • Bile leakage
  • Bile duct injury
  • Injury to surrounding structures
  • Postcholecystectomy syndrome (PCS)
  • Bleeding (Hemorrhage)

Some people might experience ongoing symptoms like persistent fever, increasing pain, abdominal swelling, jaundice, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms tend to be mild, but if they persist, consult your doctor for possible treatments, including removing any remaining gallstones through surgery or using medication to ease the symptoms.

How to Sleep After Gallbladder Surgery

Sleeping after gallbladder surgery might be a challenge due to the diminishing effect of pain medication over time. Here are some positioning tips for comfortable sleep:

  • Consider sleeping on your left side or back to reduce the pain.
  • Use pillows to provide extra support for your abdomen.
  • Sleep on your back with an elevated upper body
  • Gradually transition back to preferred sleep positions over a few weeks
  • Take pain medication.
  • Avoid heavy meals before bedtime.
  • Try aromatherapy or other relaxation techniques at bedtime.
  • Avoid distractions while in bed.

How Long After Gallbladder Surgery Can I Have Sex?

As soon as you feel physically ready, you can engage in sex, being cautious not to put pressure on your healing wounds until they’re fully healed. Typically, doctors advise waiting about one to two weeks before having sex, depending on your specific situation.

If you continue to feel any discomfort, it’s a signal that you might need more time to rest before attempting intercourse. Always prioritize your comfort and listen to your body during your recovery journey.

Resuming Activities After Gallbladder Surgery

  • Rest is essential during your recovery. Listen to your body and rest whenever you feel tired. 
  • Incorporate daily walks into your routine, gradually increasing the distance each day. Walking is beneficial in preventing blood clots in your legs and minimizing the risk of pneumonia.
  • Avoid strenuous activities like biking, jogging, weightlifting, and aerobic exercises until your doctor gives you the green light.

Most people can return to their regular lives after gallbladder removal. Successful adjustment often involves adopting coping strategies like lifestyle changes and managing fat intake for a smoother transition post-surgery. Although, some patients may experience fecal incontinence after gallbladder surgery.

Trusted, Confidential Incontinence Treatment in Middle Tennessee

If you have questions about stress incontinence treatment or other options, don’t hesitate to contact our team. A medical concierge is standing by to answer your questions and offer solutions befitting your needs. Want to learn more about treating incontinence? Visit our treatment options page.

Managing Adult Bed-Wetting: Causes, Remedies, and More

Adult bed-wetting is a medical condition that can cause discomfort and embarrassment. Dealing with the effects of adult bed-wetting can disrupt sleep patterns and can diminish an individual’s quality of life.

Individuals who suffer from adult bed-wetting, whether it is new to you or something you have endured for some time, can find help. It is important to understand the underlying cause, which can lead to an appropriate solution.

Overview of Adult Bed-Wetting

Adult bed-wetting, also called “nocturnal enuresis,” or nighttime incontinence, is a medical condition where an adult begins to release urine while asleep. While childhood bed-wetting occurs frequently and can have no serious underlying cause, adult bed-wetting is considered uncommon. Adult bed-wetting is also distinct from nocturia, which is simply when a person gets up on a regular basis at night to go to the bathroom.

Given the rarity of the condition, many patients feel that their adult bed-wetting is isolating and embarrassing. This stigma can make it difficult for patients to seek medical care, as they may assume that there are no effective treatments available.

If you find yourself among the 1%-2% of people who suffer from adult bed-wetting, you do not need to feel hopeless. You can take charge of your health, and find answers and treatments that work for you.

What Causes Bed-Wetting in Adults?

Adult bed-wetting often has treatable causes. You can talk to your doctor about possibilities, such as personal medical conditions. 

  1. Medical Conditions

Some underlying medical conditions can affect the bladder and urinary system so bed-wetting occurs in an adult. These include, but may not be limited to the following:

  • Diabetes 
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Neurological disorders
  • Stress and emotional factors

Emotional distress or underlying stress can present in adults as bed-wetting.

  1. Medication Side Effects

Some medications can relax the muscles that encourage the bladder to hold urine until the morning, causing bed-wetting.

  1. Alcohol and Caffeine Consumption

Both alcohol and caffeine, especially around bedtime, can stimulate the bladder and lead to bed-wetting. Limiting the amount consumed before bedtime may help improve your condition. 

  1. Sleep Disorders

Sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder, may lead to bed-wetting. If you suffer from sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about how it may be causing your nighttime incontinence.

Home Remedies for Bed-Wetting in Adults

Sometimes, lifestyle modifications can manage the effects of bed-wetting in adults. These might include:

  1. Monitoring Fluid Intake

While dehydration should be avoided, monitoring fluid intake, especially before bedtime, can make bed-wetting more unlikely.

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises

Some patients find relief from their adult bed-wetting by strengthening the pelvic muscles that control urine flow.

  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Establishing a regular bathroom routine
  • Managing stress through relaxation techniques

Treatments for Bed-Wetting in Adults

If home remedies do not relieve your symptoms, consult with a healthcare provider. Your doctor can help you decide on a path forward to treat bed-wetting, which may include:

  1. Behavioral interventions

Behavioral interventions can help manage bed-wetting and disrupt the pattern, so you feel more comfortable. Your doctor may recommend a system of:

  • Bed-wetting alarms to wake the individual at the first sign of moisture
  • Bladder training techniques
  1. A Review of Your Medications

Your doctor may review your medications and see if any could be adjusted to relieve the extra pressure on your urinary system and end bed-wetting.

  1. Medical Procedures

Some interventions like Botox injections or nerve stimulation for refractory cases may offer specific patients relief.

 Support and Coping Strategies

How can you cope with the emotional impact of adult bed-wetting? These tips may help:

  • Seek counseling or support groups.
  • Maintain your self-esteem through positive self-talk.
  • Openly communicate with partners or roommates about the steps you are taking to manage your medical condition.
  • Use protective bedding and take other practical measures to relieve the discomfort of adult bed-wetting.

Seeking Treatment for Nighttime Incontinence in Middle Tennessee

Adult bed-wetting is a medical condition that can be managed through home remedies and with the help of an experienced healthcare provider. If you have suffered from an onset of adult bed-wetting, work with your doctor to explore various options and find the approach that is best suited to your individual situation. The Incontinence Institute can help you partner with a provider who can guide you through the potential causes of adult bed-wetting. Together, we can find a treatment plan that works for you. Contact our team today!

Tips to Navigate the Challenges of Functional Incontinence

According to the Cleveland Clinic, functional incontinence affects over 30 million people in the United States. People living with functional incontinence often have underlying medical conditions, or physical obstacles, that stop them from reaching the bathroom in time. Many rarely recover from the conditions that contribute to functional incontinence and bear long-term consequences, carrying with them the burden of embarrassment and shame. In some cases, patients also report feelings of depression and anxiety.

Understanding Functional Incontinence 

Functional urinary incontinence occurs when a person recognizes the need to urinate but is unable to access a restroom due to a separate medical or environmental issue. This condition makes the patient lose control over their bladder or fail to recognize the need to pee. Most people who are commonly affected by the condition have other underlying conditions, such as:

  • Cognitive disorders such as delirium, dementia, and intellectual disabilities
  • Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis
  • Musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis
  • Irritation on vaginal tissues
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Medications such as sleeping pills, diuretics

Functional limitations differ from other forms of incontinence since functional incontinence affects people with a functioning urinary system. 

The Social Stigma Surrounding Incontinence 

We all know a trip to the restroom is a private endeavor, yet incontinence interrupts this norm. Those living with incontinence are no stranger to the embarrassment that accompany the stigma of accidents or frequent trips to the restroom.

The stigma surrounding incontinence not only causes stress but also creates a stronger desire for privacy, which can delay seeking proper treatment. Those affected often change their regular routines, leading to feelings of isolation and withdrawal. The fear of being seen as weak or dependent by others also weighs heavily on their minds. Overcoming these misconceptions and seeking support can lead to a more fulfilling and confident life.

Mental Health Challenges in Functional Incontinence 

Without proper management, people with incontinence associate themselves with shame, social isolation, rejection, and insecurity about their body image. The first step in responding to functional incontinence is to accept and understand the problem. We advise you to seek help from people you trust, such as close friends and family. Support groups also play a significant role in responding positively to the situation since you may interact with professionals who understand how to handle situations or people with similar experiences.

Break the Silence: Talking About Incontinence

Incontinence is often kept under wraps until it becomes too difficult to hide. However, breaking the silence is essential, particularly in the context of caregiving. Through education and open discussions about functional incontinence, we can reduce the shame and stigma surrounding this condition. By fostering awareness, we empower everyone to develop effective coping strategies when living with or caring for someone affected by incontinence. 

Exercising Proper Self-Care: Mental Well-Being

Functional incontinence can take a toll on mental health more than physical aspects. Managing it effectively often involves counseling and therapy, with cognitive-behavioral therapy being particularly beneficial. By nurturing increased self-esteem and reducing anxiety and depression in the long run, we can better support those dealing with functional incontinence.

Elevating Quality of Life 

Empowering patients with coping strategies is the key to conquering functional incontinence and living comfortably. Companies are stepping up with digital solutions, incorporating real-time sensors and wearable devices that allow individuals to manage their conditions independently. Embracing technology enhances the overall quality of life for those facing this challenge.

Fostering Supportive Communities 

Creating awareness about functional incontinence requires a collective effort. Support groups play a pivotal role in this endeavor, providing a space where patients can connect with peers and share valuable insights. Social media serves as an effective tool for spreading awareness and reminding individuals that they are not alone. Empowering patients through advocacy and shared experiences boosts self-esteem and strengthens the community.

Embracing Holistic Care 

Recognizing the impact of functional incontinence on both mental and physical health, a compassionate and inclusive approach is essential. By understanding the patient’s perspective and tailoring treatment plans accordingly, we can achieve more effective and positive outcomes. Sensitive and comprehensive care paves the way for successful procedures, methods, and results in managing functional incontinence.

Trusted, Confidential Incontinence Treatment Near Nashville, TN 

Functional incontinence can bring about mental health challenges like stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, or depression. To improve the quality of life for those affected, we advocate a holistic approach encompassing awareness, education, and unwavering support. Reach out to an Incontinence Institute medical concierge who comprehends the complexities of incontinence beyond the bladder. Find solace in the expertise of our trusted physicians who will stand by your side, empowering you to overcome functional incontinence and embrace a more fulfilling life. Don’t face this journey alone – take the first step towards relief and confidence by contacting our team today. Want to learn more about treating incontinence? Visit our treatment options page.

Cystoscopy vs Ureteroscopy for Your Urinary Tract Symptoms

Two common procedures, cystoscopy and ureteroscopy, are used to diagnose and treat bladder, urethra, kidney, and ureter issues. In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between the two methods to help make an informed decision about your medical needs when experiencing urinary tract difficulties.

Cystoscopy 

A cystoscopy is a medical device with a long thin tube containing a light and lens for viewing. This tube is inserted into the urethra and bladder to see any anomalies. 

Rigid and flexible cystoscopes are available depending on the issue you are having. Flexible cystoscopes are generally used to spot troublesome areas. A rigid cystoscope is slightly wider and can accommodate small surgical instruments inserted into the tube for biopsies or treatment. You will be awake during a flexible cystoscopy procedure, but general anesthesia or the numbing of the lower half of your body may be applied for a rigid cystoscopy procedure.  

Common symptoms requiring a cystoscopy are blood in the urine, frequent urinary tract infections, urinating problems, and chronic pelvic pain. Common conditions diagnosed and treated with cystoscopy are:

  • Bladder infections and UTIs 
  • Bladder stones 
  • Hematuria (blood in urine) 

The advantage of getting a cystoscopy is that it can find early signs of cancer, infections, narrowing, blockage, or bleeding in the urethra and bladder. The disadvantage is that biopsies and treatments can’t be done during a flexible cystoscope procedure if the surgeon sees an abnormality. A rigid cystoscope procedure would have to be scheduled to follow.

Ureteroscopy 

A ureteroscopy is functionally the same as a cystoscope, being equipped with a lens and a light. The difference is that the ureteroscope is longer, allowing a surgeon to insert the instrument into the urethra, through the bladder, and into the ureter leading to the kidney. When having a ureteroscopy procedure, general anesthesia is necessary.

You might need a ureteroscopy if you have the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain in your back or side
  • Blood in the urine
  • Burning when urinating

These symptoms can be indicative of common conditions that are diagnosed and treated with a ureteroscopy, such as:

  • Kidney stones 
  • Ureteral strictures 
  • Ureteral tumors 

The advantage of a ureteroscopy is that a doctor can see kidney stones located in the ureter and kidney and remove the stones instantaneously. The disadvantage is that the surgeon will have to place a stent in the ureter to facilitate the drainage of urine to the bladder. The surgeon will then need to remove the stent at a later date.

Similarities between Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy

Both of these procedures are done as outpatient procedures in most cases. However, if you were under general anesthesia during these processes, you’ll need someone to drive you home when you’re released.

Differences between Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy 

Because the diagnostic and treatment target areas are different for each procedure, the risks and complications will be specific to those target areas. A ureteroscopy can cause infection or injury to the ureter or kidneys, while it’s most likely the bladder and urethra will be affected by complications and risks after a cystoscopy.

Treatment Plans Following Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy 

After both a cystoscopy and a ureteroscopy, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection. A cystoscopy will cause belly pain, blood in the urine, and pain when urinating for up to 48 hours. Drink several glasses of water a day to flush out the bladder and take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain. 

A ureteroscopy may cause more pain which prescribed pain medication may ease. You may feel pain in your bladder and burning when you urinate. If the kidney stone the surgeon treated was large, you may have to pass stone fragments still present in the days following the procedure. Follow your doctor’s diet and medication recommendations to prevent future stone formation.

Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy Procedures in Middle Tennessee

There are similarities and differences between cystoscopy and ureteroscopy procedures, but both are important in the early diagnosis and treatment of urological conditions. Because these procedures target different issues in the urinary tract, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice. At the Incontinence Institute, we specialize in urinary tract diagnostic and treatment options. Contact our team to find out if a cystoscopy or ureteroscopy is the right option for you.

About The Incontinence Institute

At the Incontinence Institute, our team of healthcare providers understand the physical and mental trials that accompany living with urinary or bowel incontinence. Because of this, we are sensitive to your situation and treat all of our patients with the utmost respect and concern for discretion.


Individual incontinence conditions, treatment and recovery times may vary. Each patient's experience with incontinence procedures and / or surgery will differ. All surgical procedures involve some level of risk. If directed to pursue surgery by your physician, prompt action is advised, as waiting may reduce the efficacy of surgical treatment. The opinions expressed in patient testimonials are by patients only; they are not qualified medical professionals. These opinions should not be relied upon as, or in place of, the medical advice of a licensed doctor, etc.

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Incontinence Institute 2009 Mallory Lane, Suite 100 Franklin, Tennessee 37067

1.888.741.6403

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