Get answers to your Urinary Incontinence / Urogynecology questions.
Artificial sphincter (AUS) - urinary
Sphincters are muscles that allow your body to hold in urine. An inflatable artificial (human-made) sphincter is a medical device that keeps urine from leaking when your urinary sphincter no longer works well. When you need to urinate, the cuff of the artificial sphincter can be relaxed so urine can flow out.
You will have either general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia before the procedure. With general anesthesia, you will be unconscious and will not feel pain. With spinal anesthesia, you will be awake but numb from the waist down, and you will not feel pain.
An artificial sphincter has three parts:
A surgical cut (incision) will be made in one of these areas so that the cuff can be put in place:
Once the artificial sphincter is in place, you will use the pump to empty (deflate) and fill (inflate) the cuff. Squeezing the pump moves fluid from the cuff to the balloon. When the cuff is empty, your urethra opens so that you can urinate. The cuff will re-inflate on its own in 90 seconds.
Artificial sphincter surgery is done to treat stress incontinence, a leakage of urine that occurs with activities such as walking, lifting, exercising, or even coughing or sneezing.
The procedure is recommended for men who have urine leakage after prostate surgery.
Women who have urine leakage usually try other treatment options before having an artificial sphincter placed.
Most of the time, your doctor will recommend drugs and bladder retraining before surgery.
Staskin DR, Comiter CV. Surgical treatment of male sphincteric urinary incontinence: the male perineal sling and artificial urinary sphincter. Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Novick AC, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 74.
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