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Artificial Urinary Sphincter Implant (AUS)

What is stress urinary incontinence? How can it be treated?

Stress urinary incontinence is the leakage of urine while laughing, coughing or sneezing, and is caused due to weak sphincter muscles that fail to control the bladder. Stress urinary incontinence can be treated with artificial inflatable sphincters. The artificial sphincter consists of 3 parts:

  • Cuff: controls urine flow through the urethra
  • Balloon: regulates pressure in the cuff
  • Pump: inflates cuff

How are artificial inflatable sphincters implanted?

The implantation of the artificial sphincter is carried out under general. Your surgeon makes an incision in the scrotum and lower abdomen to insert the artificial sphincter. First, the cuff is inserted and placed around the urethra. The balloon is then positioned below the abdominal tissue and the pump is placed in the scrotum.

How does the artificial inflatable sphincter work?

The inflated cuff squeezes the urethra close and prevents the leakage of urine from the bladder. When you feel the urge to urinate, you can deflate the cuff by squeezing the pump. This transfers fluid from the cuff into the balloon and releases the pressure around the urethra. The cuff re-inflates on its own in 90 seconds.

What are the risks and complications associated with the implantation of the artificial inflatable sphincter?

The implantation of the sphincter is generally safe, but like all surgeries, the procedure may be associated with certain side effects, such as damage of the bladder and urethra, difficulties in emptying the bladder, infection of the device, mechanical wearing out of the device and failure of the procedure.