WellSpan Home

Artificial Sphincter for Urinary Incontinence in Men

Surgery Overview

An artificial sphincter is a device made of silicone rubber that is used to treat urinary incontinence.

An artificial sphincter has an inflatable cuff that fits around the urethra close to the point where it joins the bladder. A balloon regulates the pressure of the cuff, and a bulb controls inflation and deflation of the cuff. The balloon is surgically placed within the pelvic area, and the control pump is placed in the scrotum.

The cuff is inflated to keep urine from leaking. When urination is desired, the cuff is deflated, allowing urine to drain out.

What To Expect

Because these procedures involve abdominal surgery, hospitalization is required.

You will most likely be able to leave the hospital the day after having the surgery.

Why It Is Done

Installation of an artificial sphincter may be done for:

  • Urinary incontinence caused by the removal of the prostate.
  • Severe continual leakage of urine from the urethra.
  • Severe urinary incontinence for which other methods of treatment have failed.

How Well It Works

Artificial sphincter placement is a successful treatment for up to 90 out of 100 men who have incontinence after prostate removal. And most men are happy with the artificial sphincter.footnote 1

Risks

Complications with this type of surgery include:

  • An infection in the artificial sphincter.
  • Wearing away (erosion) of the skin of the urethra.
  • Failure of the artificial sphincter to work.

Men with these problems usually need to have another surgery (revision). This happens in about 23 out of 100 men who have the surgery.footnote 1

What To Think About

Because complications may occur, this is a treatment method that generally is reserved for people for whom all other treatment options have failed. Some people may prefer to manage their symptoms with continence products (such as absorbent pads, incontinence clamps, or pressure cuffs) and changes in habits rather than to have this surgery.

References

Citations

  1. Wessells H, Peterson AC (2012). Surgical treatment of male sphincteric urinary incontinence: The male perineal sling and artificial urinary sphincter. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed., vol. 3, pp. 2290–2305. Philadelphia: Saunders.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology

Current as ofMarch 21, 2018


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×