URINARY INCONTINENCE SURGERY - MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE SOLICITORS
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Our urinary incontinence surgery medical negligence lawyers have solicitors offices situated in Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.
Urinary Incontinence Surgery
Urinary incontinence is usually a problem of women. The most common type of incontinence is stress incontinence in which the woman has incontinence with straining, coughing and sneezing. In such cases, the bladder neck and the urethra drop due to gravity, pregnancy and obesity.
Urinary incontinence surgery to correct this problem involves raising the bladder neck, lifting up the urethra. The bladder is allowed to be in the normal position following the surgery. Surgery is the best cure for stress incontinence and is better than exercises or any medication.
There is also a type of incontinence called urge incontinence that is treated less often with surgery.
There are several options for stress continence surgery. These surgical choices include the following types of surgery:
- Tension-free vaginal tape surgery: In this surgery, a type of mesh tape is placed beneath the urethra and acts like a hammock or sling. It keeps the urethra in its normal position. Small incisions are made in the vaginal wall and abdomen. This surgery requires no surgery.
- Retropubic suspension: The most commonly done procedure in this category is called the Burch culposuspension surgery. In this surgery, the vaginal wall is attached to the Cooper’s ligament next to the pubic bone.
- Urethral sling: This type of surgery is used to treat stress incontinence and involves the placement of a sling around the urethra to lift the urethra into its typical incision. This helps improve urinary retention.
- Sacral nerve stimulation: In this procedure, electrical stimulation sends a mild electrical current to the nerves located in the low back or pelvic region that are also involved in urination.
- Urethral bulking: This involves injecting a bulking material around the female urethra. It can be done to seal holes in the urethra and to build up the thickness of the urethral wall so that urine stays in the bladder more easily.
There are several complications of incontinence surgery. They include the following types of symptoms:
- Urge incontinence which persists despite surgery. A woman with stress incontinence can develop symptoms of urge incontinence, which is the sudden and uncontrollable need to void. Symptoms can last only through recover or can persist past that point.
- Inability to urinate or problems voiding. This is most problematic when surgeries involve the raising of the urethra and bladder neck. The symptom usually corrects itself. The problem usually lasts about a week.
- A wound infection or an infection of the urinary tract. This is a very typical complication following bladder surgery and is easily managed with antibiotics.
- The development of a fistula. A fistula is an abnormal connection between two body areas. In bladder surgery, the fistula occurs between the bladder and the vagina so that there is a constant leakage of urine from the vagina. A urethral to vaginal fistula is also common. These are very difficult to treat and must be treated surgically.
- Mesh problems. Some bladder and urinary incontinence procedures are treated with synthetic surgical mesh, which is used to create a sling to lift the bladder and the urethra. When the mesh is inserted through a hole between the vagina and the bladder neck, it sometimes erodes through the vagina so that there is secondary pain, infection and ongoing urinary tract difficulty. Patients should let the doctor know if they’ve had a previous reaction to polypropylene and similar chemical objects. The repair can be done just as well without synthetic mesh so you can request that no mesh be used to treat your stress incontinence.
- Bleeding. There can be bleeding into your pelvis, bleeding through your urethra or bleeding through the incision. In some cases, you might need to have a repeat surgery.
Urinary Incontinence Overview
Urinary incontinence is a loss of control of the bladder. This can cause mild leakage of the bladder or an uncontrollable flow of the bladder. It happens increasingly as you age. It can be stress incontinence, in which you dribble urine when you cough or sneeze or lift heavy objects, and it can be urge incontinence, in which you have the urge to urinate and cannot wait until you reach the bathroom in order to urinate. It can be an embarrassing problem but is usually completely treatable. If you think that your condition has worsened as a result of medical negligence, contact our urinary incontinence solicitors for advice at no cost.
Urinary incontinence affects millions of people, usually women above the age of 50 years. It can affect women of younger years shortly after giving birth.
The cause of urinary incontinence can be many different things. It can be due to drying out of the tissue of the urethra or vagina after menopause causing the opening to the bladder to become not so narrow. Men with an enlarged prostate or who have had prostate surgery are at greater risk for incontinence. If the pelvic muscles become weak after childbirth, you have an increased risk of having incontinence. Certain medications can cause the condition and constipation can affect the disease. Those who are obese have greater pressure on the bladder and can have incontinence. If you have a urinary tract infection, the bladder is more irritable and you can have urge incontinence. Men and women with vascular disease can get bladder incontinence and diseases of the nerves, like Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and MS can get bladder incontinence.
There are five type of incontinence that act differently from one another. Stress incontinence happens when you leak urine because of a sudden pressure on the lower stomach with weak muscles controlling bladder function. This can happen in cases of previous surgery or childbirth. Urge incontinence comes on very suddenly and you can't reach the toilet. It is common in urinary tract infections or in the elderly and comes from an overactive surgery. Overflow incontinence is caused by a bladder that is overflowing. It causes strain when urinating or blockage of the bladder outflow. It can be caused by certain medications or by diabetes. Functional incontinence means you have a normal bladder system but cannot get to the toilet due to arthritis or other ambulatory problems. Mixed incontinence is a problem involving more than one type of incontinence.
Urinary incontinence is not just a normal part of getting older. Age can reduce the bladder size and can make for a weaker stream. You will need to urinate more often. You can have urinary incontinence as you age but it can be completely managed with doctor supervision.
Symptoms of urinary incontinence include dribbling of urine with coughing or sneezing, dribbling unassociated with coughing or sneezing, problems with urinating while trying to get to the bathroom or urinating in your sleep. You can have bladder infection symptoms in some situations and can have no control over the flow of your bladder. You can have the sensation of incomplete bladder emptying with overflow leakage happening after you void.
The treatment of urinary incontinence depends on the type of urinary incontinence you have. Bladder training and Kegel exercises can be done that can reduce stress incontinence. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic muscles so that they hold the bladder flow better. You can learn how to do Kegel exercises from a nurse or doctor. Bladder training is good for urge incontinence in which you learn to lengthen the time between bladder urges. You urinate at set intervals that are increased over time. Finally, you are urinating every 3-4 hours without difficulty. You practice relaxation of the bladder when you have the urge to go. Kegel exercises can help strengthen the bladder in this type of bladder problem as well. You need to wait out the urges in order to get past them and learn to urinate when you want to urinate and not when you are forced to urinate. It takes 3-12 weeks to complete bladder training.
Medications can help bladder incontinence. Estrogen cream can be applied to the vaginal area which can prevent urethral and vaginal dryness. It can help women with stress incontinence. There are medications for urge incontinence as well that help the bladder hold onto urine more readily. Medications that shrink the prostate can help. Surgery can change the angle of the bladder in relation to the urethra and can help stress incontinence.
Medical Negligence Solicitors
Our urinary incontinence solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme which is totally without risk. You only pay legal charges if the case is won. There are no upfront charges to pay whatsoever. If you would like to discuss your potential compensation claim with a specialist medical negligence solicitor just complete the contact form or email our solicitors offices or use the helpline. Once you have provided sufficient information you will speak with a urinary incontinence solicitor who will advise you on the prospects of success for your claim and an estimated amount of compensation that may be awarded. Our advice is totally without cost and there is no further obligation to use our legal services. Do yourself justice and give us a call.
HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here