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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Inflatable Artificial Sphincter
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System

Inflatable Artificial Sphincter

Alternate Names : Artificial Urinary Sphincter

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

An inflatable artificial sphincter is used to treat stress incontinence when the urinary sphincter isn't working well. It is implanted in the lower urinary tract to provide control of urine flow.

The inflatable artificial sphincter consists of three parts. These include:

  • a cuff that fits around the bladder neck
  • a balloon to control the pressure
  • a pump that inflates the cuff
  • The sphincter is compressed by the cuff. This cuff is inflated and deflated through a pump. This pump is placed in the scrotum of a man or the labia of a woman. Fluid to supply the system is kept in a reservoir implanted in the pelvis.

    Who is a candidate for the procedure?

    This device is used only for people with complete or near complete loss of function of the urinary sphincter. This procedure may be performed to treat stress incontinence in men after prostate surgery, such as radical prostatectomy. It may also be performed in men and women with sphincter dysfunction due to spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis.

    This device is not used for urinary incontinence due to other causes. It is not used in people with very low volume bladders, and those with blockages of the urethra. This device is not suitable for those who have had extensive radiation therapy to the pelvis.

    How is the procedure performed?

    In men, the artificial urinary sphincter is placed through a cut made between the scrotum and anus. A smaller incision is made in the groin for implanting the reservoir. Antibiotics are used to prevent urinary tract infections. The procedure usually takes between 2 and 4 hours.

    In women, the device can be implanted either through a cut in the lower abdomen or through the vagina. Postoperative management is similar to that for men.


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    Inflatable Artificial Sphincter: Preparation & Expectations

    Author: Stuart Wolf, MD
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 06/07/01

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