Incontinence is the inability to hold in urine in the body. The urinary sphincter in the human body stops working and urine flows through the urethra towards the penis/vagina without any control.
Women have incontinence problems as they get elderly while men normally have it as a result of prostate cancer removal surgery. Incontinence is normally seen during activities like walking, exercising, sneezing, laughing or coughing. Basically, any activity requiring effort can result in incontinence.
If I put myself in the shoes of a person suffering from incontinence, I would be very upset. It is not just a source of embarrassment but also causes a drastic change in one’s life. This is why so many people have to get an Artificial Sphincter if the problem persists.
I am sure most of the readers are wondering why I am babbling about the Artificial Sphincter. However, I happen to think that it is a very important topic. If I were in your position, I would want to know everything about this ‘Artificial Sphincter’ that the doctor is so vehemently suggesting to you. At the end of the day, the Artificial Sphincter is a foreign object that has to enter your body.
Let us get acquainted with the Artificial Sphincter.
The Artificial Sphincter as the name suggests is an ‘artificial’ device that substitutes the urinary sphincter in the human body. Obviously, this will be inserted in the body when the urinary sphincter is not functioning properly.
It replaces your urinary sphincter and it is amazing how this device replicates the function. The Artificial Sphincter is made of silicon rubber. It has three parts namely the balloon, cuff and pump.
Once the doctors have implanted this device in your body under the bladder, it will work wonders. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the working of this device. The cuff of the Artificial Sphincter contains a fluid that puts pressure on the urethra allowing it to hold the urine in. The pump, which is inserted in the scrotum (for men) or labia (for women), is squeezed at the time of urination to allow the fluid to shift from the cuff to the balloon. This reduces the pressure off the urethra and the person can urinate. It sounds so simple, yet its function is so vital to people who have problems of incontinence.
The patients are required to take it easy and avoid doing extra work for six weeks after the surgery. The Artificial Sphincter is activated after the patient has healed completely, that is after six to eight weeks. The patient needs to be trained to use this device properly. Therefore, after the surgery there is healing time of six to eight weeks, during this time the patient goes through a tutorial of the training. However, it does not take much time for the patients to become proficient in its usage and live a normal life.
This device has been helping people since 1947 and since then new and improved versions have been introduced. Nowadays, the surgery is so easy and well managed that the patient can be discharged the next after having a successful surgery. The possible risks might include bruising or swelling, but they can be avoided if the surgical team is efficient. The Artificial Sphincter does not have any drastic impacts on your body. Once the Artificial Sphincter is inserted and functioning efficiently, it becomes a part of your body and you get used to it. This device does not affect your physical appearance or your sex life. In a nutshell, if it is properly administered and well managed, the Artificial Sphincter will help you to live a healthy and peaceful life free of all incontinence problems.