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    Medical Advancements Providing Hope for Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Medical Advancements Providing Hope for Women with Stress Urinary Incontinence

Statistics suggest that, at any given time, approximately 15 million women are affected by stress urinary incontinence. Of the various types of incontinence, this is the most common. Historically, women have had relatively little help in managing this condition. Over time, though, both nonsurgical and surgical solutions have been developed. We’ll briefly outline them here.

Nonsurgical treatment options for stress urinary incontinence have included:

Pelvic floor exercises. Known as Kegel exercises after the physician who developed this technique, pelvic floor exercises work by contracting and releasing the muscles that span the lower pelvic region, which includes the vagina, rectum, and the urethra.
Behavioral modification. Avoiding certain activities may reduce episodes of urine leakage, but this can also decrease quality of life.
Transurethral bulking agents such as collagen have been injected around the urethra to thicken tissue and control urine leakage.
Pessary, a removable device that supports the bladder neck by repositioning the urethra.

Surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence has generally consisted of mesh techniques, also referred to as “sling” surgery. Mesh techniques became popular due to their minimally invasive nature compared to fascia or donor slings. However, surgical mesh for stress urinary incontinence has had somewhat of a turbulent history that has included numerous cases of complications. Now there is an alternative.
Innovative Technology for the Reduction of Stress Urinary Incontinence
Medical professionals are aware that our industry is constantly changing. New technologies are continually being assessed in stringent clinical trials. Earlier this year, the FDA cleared a new device by BTL Aesthetics, a leader in energy-based devices. This device, Emsella, reportedly tones the pelvic floor without a woman having to perform repetitive exercises. Emsella works via HIFEM®, a patent-protected technology that is already winning awards for its […]

The Role of Spinal Cord Stimulation is Expanding

Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) has been a known therapy for more than 50 years. At this time, approximately 35,000 patients receive an SCS implant each year. This method of pain management may have gained FDA approval in 1989, but since that time, its use has gained popularity among physicians and their patients. We recently discussed the value of spinal cord stimulation as a drug-free therapy. This conversation needs to continue so more patients are able to find relief from pain in a safe and meaningful way.
Ways that Spinal Cord Stimulation is Being Used
Spinal cord stimulation works by delivering mild electrical stimulation to the nerve roots at the spinal column, where pain signals originate. These gentle electrical jolts inhibit the transmission of pain sensation from reaching the brain, thus minimizing or eliminating the pain a patient may otherwise have to medicate.

The primary use of SCS is to treat neuropathic pain, which develops out of nerve damage. The cause of nerve damage matters very little; SCS may manage pain originating in disease, injury, or other factors. Most commonly associated with post-surgical back and leg pain, spinal cord stimulation is expanding to usage in other areas of medicine.

In addition to helping patients who have undergone back surgery, SCS is increasingly being considered as an alternative to back surgery. This is especially so in cases where surgical intervention is not expected to fully resolve the cause of pain. Another common indication for spinal cord stimulation is to treat the symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome. Neuropathic pain related to peripheral nerve damage also responds very well to this modality. This includes instances of diabetes, trauma, viral infection, and other conditions.

Although primarily considered for neuropathic pain, spinal cord stimulation […]

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