Shawn Blick, MD
Penile Implant Surgeon & Men's Health Specialist located in Phoenix, AZ
It’s estimated that more than five million American men are living with male incontinence. While male incontinence may feel embarrassing, it can also prevent you from participating in activities you used to love. Men’s health expert, Dr. Shawn Blick offers diagnosis and treatment of male incontinence at his Phoenix, Arizona-based practice. Most importantly, Dr. Blick is an expert in the surgical treatment of Male Stress Urinary Incontinence often caused by prostate cancer surgery or radiation. To make your appointment with Dr. Blick today, call the office or click the online booking tool.
Male Incontinence Q & A
What is male incontinence?
Male incontinence causes involuntary or accidental leakage of urine. There are many different types of incontinence, and contrary to popular belief, incontinence isn’t a specific medical condition. Instead, it’s a symptom that may point to a more serious underlying health problem.
Experts estimate that about 2-11% of older men experience incontinence on a regular basis. For some, incontinence is a minor annoyance. For others, it’s a serious problem that interferes with normal activities and quality of life.
How is male incontinence diagnosed?
To diagnose male incontinence, Dr. Blick conducts a physical exam, asks you questions about your symptoms, and reviews your medical history. He might also order a urinary analysis, a voiding study or a cystoscopy (look into the bladder) to rule out other potential causes. Usually, these steps are enough to pinpoint the cause of your incontinence.
Types of Incontinence
Urge incontinence is the loss of bladder control due to an overactive bladder. It is characterized by having an urgent desire or need to pass urine. The cause is often unknown but risk factors include many diet and lifestyle choices. Obesity, caffeine intake, diabetes and chronic constipation are often related to urge incontinence. Other common causes may include damage to nerves, bladder, or pelvic floor muscles.
Mixed incontinence is present when a man suffers from both urge incontinence and stress incontinence, sharing symptoms of both types. Causes stem from same sources as both Urge Incontinence and Stress Urinary Incontinence.
STRESS URINARY INCONTINENCE
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is caused by damage or weakening of the urinary sphincter. This may happen during coughing, heavy lifting, laughing, or sneezing. Surgical removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy) is the most common cause of stress urinary incontinence.
Stress Incontinence and Prostate Cancer
Male stress incontinence is one of the most common side effects of a prostate cancer treatments like radiation or a radical prostatectomy. Almost all patients will have some degree of incontinence following a radical prostatectomy but most cases resolve almost completely within six months to a year. On the other end, patients who have been treated with radiation might not develop incontinence symptoms for years after treatments end. Dr. Blick specializes in the treatment of male stress incontinence and offers a wide variety of therapy for prostate cancer survivors.
Surgical Solutions for Stress Incontinence
Treatment for incontinence depends on the severity of your symptoms. Whenever possible, Dr. Blick recommends conservative, noninvasive treatments. If your symptoms are mild or moderate, Dr. Blick might recommend fluid management, bladder training, or pelvic floor strengthening exercises. If your symptoms persist or get worse, you might benefit from prescription medications or surgical intervention.
Treatment for incontinence depends on the severity of your symptoms. Whenever possible, Dr. Blick recommends conservative, noninvasive treatments. If your symptoms are mild or moderate, Dr. Blick might recommend fluid management, bladder training, or may refer you to a physical therapist for pelvic floor strengthening. If your symptoms persist or get worse, you might benefit from prescription medications or surgical interventions like or an AMS 800™Aritificial Urinary Sphincter (AUS) or an AdVance™ XP male sling.
AMS 800™Artificial Urinary Sphincter
The AMS™ 800 Artificial Urinary Sphincter, also known as the AUS, is often called the gold standard treatment for male stress incontinence. Dr. Blick discreetly places the AUS entirely inside of the body in an outpatient procedure. The AUS has three components: a fluid-filled cuff positioned on the urethra to control urine output, a pump in the scrotum and a small, pressure-regulating balloon in the abdomen. The AUS cuff is filled with saline until you are ready to release your urine. To urinate, squeeze and release the pump to remove the saline from the bladder. This allows the cuff to open, relaxing its pressure on your urethra, and allowing urine to flow out of your body. The cuff automatically refills in a few minutes which closes the urethra to restore your bladder control.
AdVance™ XP Male Sling
Dr. Blick may suggest the AdVance™ XP Male Sling you if you have mild to moderate incontinence. The AdVance™ XP Male Sling has a very high long-term patient satisfaction rating of 89.4%. You should be able to hold your urine immediately after the implant procedure. The sling acts like a hammock and is designed to stop leakage by lifting and supporting your weakened sphincter muscle. Dr. Blick will place the sling inside your body in a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure. The AdVance™ XP Male Sling is a small strip of soft mesh that adjusts the sphincter into its natural position to minimize the flow of unwanted urinary leakage.
To learn more about the treatment options for male incontinence, make an appointment with Dr. Shawn Blick today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.