Incontinence & Bladder Control

Compassionate Team Provides Expert Female Incontinence Treatment

Urinary incontinence, which affects women of all ages, is the loss of urine control. We know it can be difficult to talk about, but the specialized, multidisciplinary care team at University Hospitals makes it as easy and comfortable as possible to get you on the path to better urinary health.

Request an Appointment with a Urology Specialist

Our highly trained experts in urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction are here to help. Regardless of your needs, our care team can design a personalized care plan that helps you return to activities with family and friends without worry. Call 216-844-3009 to schedule an appointment today.

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Expertise to Treat All Types of Incontinence

University Hospitals has the only program in Ohio to combine urology, urogynecology and colorectal surgery for female pelvic floor disorders. In addition, our highly trained experts in urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction are scientific leaders in their field. A breakthrough investigational study is currently underway at UH for using patient stem cells to correct a type of urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence is not a disease itself, but really a symptom of another condition and can occur in different ways – or can be identified through a range of types of female incontinence. For example, some urinary incontinence, called stress incontinence, only occurs during physical exertion such as heavy lifting or exercise or also when laughing, coughing or sneezing. Symptoms can also be due to pregnancy, childbirth or menopause.

The urologists at University Hospitals can help you better understand the cause of your urinary incontinence. Other, non-urinary-related health conditions can also be a factor so it’s important to see a urinary specialist to determine the specific cause of your urinary incontinence.

Our experienced urology team will conduct tests to learn more about your specific symptoms. One test, called the urodynamic study, consists of three parts:

  • Cystometrogram
  • Sphincter electromyography
  • Intra-abdominal pressure

This study evaluates the function of your bladder and urethra and helps our specialists determine how well the urinary outflow system does its job of storing, transporting and expelling urine. In just 60 to 90 minutes, this test allows us to understand the issues so our team can determine customized treatment plan that helps significantly reduce or eliminate your urinary incontinence symptoms.

Range of Specialized Urinary Incontinence Treatment Options for Women

Urinary incontinence treatment options depend on many factors. Your other health conditions, your age and lifestyle and your gender all must be considered. Our multidisciplinary care team will weigh those factors when designing your individualized and effective care path.

For women, UH urologists work in close partnership with UH gynecologists to create an individualized care path. Our multidisciplinary teams also include certified pelvic health physical therapists who can help patients strengthen muscles to improve bladder control to avoid the need for medication or surgery. Other non-invasive treatments may range from lifestyle changes and bladder training to electrical nerve stimulation. Men with UI can also benefit from physical therapy. 

Robotic Surgery

Other treatments for urinary incontinence may include minimally invasive robotic surgery and pelvic floor procedures to correct or reconstruct genital or urinary systems to their proper function. Urology surgeons at UH can perform robotic pyeloplasty to correct a blockage or narrowing of the ureter where it leaves the kidney, a condition known as a ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction. Additionally, our surgeons perform robotic sacrocolpopexy to correct uterovaginal pelvic organ prolapse, a condition in which pelvic organs shift and cause issues such as leaking urine, an urgent need to urinate, or a sensation of bulging from the vagina. These procedures are safe and effective at managing urinary incontinence and can greatly improve a woman’s quality of life and sense of well-being. 

Using the da Vinci robotic surgery system, our surgeons manipulate a set of advanced robotic instruments to perform the pyeloplasty with greater precision. A robotic procedure only requires a few small incisions, so patients may experience less pain and blood loss, and a lower risk of complications. Other advantages include shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries, and better outcomes. For stress incontinence, procedures to correct weakened pelvic walls do not always require a hospital stay and typically have a 90 percent or greater success rate.

Pelvic Cancer Survivorship Clinic

If you were treated for pelvic cancer and are now cancer-free, or if you are currently receiving care for pelvic cancer, our compassionate team will monitor, evaluate and treat any side effects that may arise from your cancer treatments.

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