Health Watch - Aging: Incontinence

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about some of the issues related to getting older. One problem many women face as they get older is stress incontinence – the leakage of urine brought on by sneezing, coughing or other physical activities. This problem can be corrected surgically.

There are two primary procedures used to correct stress incontinence, and doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that they’re equally effective in the first head-to-head comparison of the procedures. Patients were examined a year after the procedure and reported their experiences following the procedure. Both procedures involve using a mesh sling to support the urethra so that urine is less likely to leak. The difference lies in where the sling is inserted and how it’s inserted. Each procedure has its own risks.

Dr. Gary Lemack, a UT Southwestern urologist, says doctors can use these study results to better counsel patients about the risks and benefits of the respective procedures.

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November 2010


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