By Dr Greggory Pinto
Tens of thousands of Bahamian women and men have their bladder dictate their lives and reduce the quality of their every day lives.
The negative impact of urinary incontinence/leak and urinary urgency can be profound.
Stress urinary incontinence is the uncontrollable leak or passage of urine with any increased abdominal pressure associated with common activities such as laughing, sneezing, coughing, lifting or exercising.
Stress urinary incontinence is not related to psychological stress, but a pressure/stress on the bladder that occurs when there is a weakening of the muscles and tissues that support the bladder and a weakening of the urethral sphincter. Stress urinary incontinence affects as many as one in three women of varying ages. Risk factors for stress urinary incontinence includes previous pregnancy, vaginal delivery, obesity, smoking, menopause and advancing age.
One in ten men experience stress urinary incontinence and many of these affected men, may have had previous prostate cancer surgery.
Urge urinary incontinence is the uncontrollable leak of urine after the failure to make it the bathroom after the urge is felt.
Many women experience both stress and urge urinary incontinence.
The majority of men who suffer from urge urinary incontinence or suffer from overflow urinary incontinence have an obstructive prostate or, less commonly, a urethral stricture as the root cause.
Painless, minimally invasive endoscopic resection of the obstructing prostate can permanently solve the issue of an obstructive prostate. No pain medication is required after endoscopic prostate resection and no to minimal recovery period is needed.
Women worldwide and in the Bahamas commonly suffer from stress urinary incontinence and often live their lives wearing panty liners, or pads, or even adult diapers.
Stress urinary incontinence negatively affects the quality of life of women and men in multiple ways. Sexual intimacy can lead to uncontrollable urine leak, which leaves far too many women fearful to be intimate.
Women suffering from urinary incontinence sadly often live their lives wearing dark clothing every single day to try and hide potential wetness and stains associated with urinary incontinence/leak.
Women are sometimes afraid to exercise because of the embarrassing stress urinary leak. There are many negative health effects for these women who stop exercising.
Imagine being fearful to simply laugh and enjoy life because of stress urinary incontinence/leak.
This is the horrible reality for tens of thousands of Bahamian women.
The constant fear of the perceived smell of urine limits social interactions and often negatively affects the professional lives of women as well.
Many Bahamian women are afraid to have a glass of water when they leave their homes because of the overwhelming urge to urinate frequently.
In the Bahamas, several minimally invasive outpatient procedures are readily available to successfully treat both stress and urge urinary incontinence. Patients can take an extended lunch break and often return to work after any of the minimally invasive procedures, and have no further episodes of urinary incontinence/leak.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved synthetic transvaginal urethral slings are available through Urology Care Bahamas to minimally invasive treat stress urinary incontinence in a less than thirty minute outpatient procedure.
FDA approved minimally invasive Botox injections effectively treats urge urinary incontinence and is likewise available locally in the Bahamas as a twenty minute outpatient painless procedure.
FDA approved minimally invasive placement of synthetic bulking agents such as macroplastique at the level of the opening of the bladder and urethra, can successfully treat stress urinary incontinence.
For men with severe stress urinary incontinence, artificial urethral sphincter surgery is available locally.
The FDA has now approved the non-invasive highly effective management of stress, urge and mixed urinary incontinence using the device INNOVO. No procedure is necessary.
INNOVO is a the state-of-the-art, non-invasive pelvic floor exerciser that provides the pelvic floor muscles with effective strengthening that treats the root cause of bladder leak due to urinary incontinence for both women and men. The advanced device was FDA approved late last year and is now available in the Bahamas for the first time through Urology Care Bahamas.
INNOVO is a painless and simple to use; just put on the device, which is similar to a comfortable pair of bicycle shorts, and it delivers painless electrical stimulation to the entire pelvic floor muscles in a short 30-minute session. All varying sizes of the fitted shorts are available.
A hand-held controller is connected to the INNOVO shorts and the intensity of the painless electrical stimulation of the pelvic muscles can be controlled by the user.
The electrical stimulation is painless and the device can be used within the confines of the user's home whenever it is convenient.
Sit comfortably and watch TV or read a book and the non-invasive painless device simply delivers electrical stimulation to your weakened pelvic muscles.
The device is used five times a week for 30-minute sessions to treat stress urinary incontinence and it is worn three to four times a week to treat urge urinary incontinence. After 12 weeks, the vast majority of women will be dry and no longer need panty liners or pads.
The scientifically proven success of the INNOVO device is extraordinary.
Eighty-seven percent of users have no or mild urinary leak/incontinence after a 12-week treatment period, involving three to five 30-minute sessions each week. Ninety-three percent of users saw a significant reduction in urinary leak after just four weeks of use.
INNOVO has provided over 1.5 million successful treatments of stress urinary incontinence in Europe thus far.
A weak bladder is a fixable problem and thousands of Bahamian women and men can regain their happiness, confidence and freedom in their lives.
Laugh hard again and with no leak of urine.
Exercise full throttle once again without any fear of urine leak.
Say goodbye to panty liners and pads and no longer fear smelling like urine.
Seek confidential and compassionate, painless treatment for your urinary leaking.
A confidential urology consult is required to pinpoint the exact cause of bladder leak and determine whether the INNOVO device is right for you.
• Dr Greggory Pinto is a board certified Bahamian urologist and laparoscopic surgeon. He has trained in Germany, South Africa and France, and is a member of the European Association of Urology. He can be reached at the OakTree Medical Center, #2 Fifth Terrace and Mount Royal Avenue. Call (242) 322-1145-7. E-mail email@example.com or visit the website www.urologycarebahamas.com.