Glenrock, NJ - Recent improved technology makes an artificial urinary sphincter a viable treatment option for an estimated 800,000 Americans who suffer from urinary incontinence, according to an article in the May issue of Urology magazine.
About 5,000 artificial sphincters have been implanted since its 1972 introduction and it is a sound treatment option for many patients who will not respond to other therapies.
"Further technical refinements in the sphincter device and improvements in patient selection and surgical techniques have led to a growing confidence among urologists in the use of the artificial sphincter as a treatment alternative in managing some forms of urinary incontinence," the article states.
Conditions that required implantation of an artificial sphincter (in decreasing order of frequency) were listed as: myelomeningocele, radical prostatectomy, simple prostatectomy, spinal cord injury, neurogenic bladder, stress incontinence, pelvic trauma, bladder extrophy, epispadias and sacral agenesis.
The newest generation of sphincters is the Artificial Urinary Sphincter 800. This model, the authors state, has a new control pump that can be used to activate or deactivate the device without additional surgery - a "major breakthrough" that provides "an undoubted advantage."