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Urinary incontinence - collagen implants

Contents of this page:

Alternative Names   

Intrinsic sphincter deficiency repair; ISD repair

Definition    Return to top

Collagen implants are injections done to help control urine leakage that is caused by weak sphincters. Sphincters are muscles that allow your body to hold in urine. If your sphincter muscles stop working well you will have urine leakage.

See also: Urinary incontinence

Description    Return to top

Collagen is a strong material found throughout your body in your bones, skin, and other tissues. The doctor will use animal or human collagen to help control your urine leakage.

The doctor injects collagen through a needle into the wall of your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder. The collagen closes up the tissue, stopping urine from leaking out of your bladder.

You may have a choice of 3 types of anesthesia (pain relief) for this procedure:

After you are numb or asleep from your anesthesia, the doctor will put a medical device called a cystoscope into your urethra. The cystoscope allows your doctor to see the area.

Then your doctor passes a needle through your urethra to the sphincter muscle. Collagen is injected into the sphincter through this needle. The doctor may can also inject collagen into the tissue next to the sphincter.

Collagen implants are usually done in the hospital, but they also may be done in your doctor’s clinic. The procedure takes about 20 to 40 minutes.

Why the Procedure is Performed    Return to top

Collagen implants can help both men and women.

Men who have urine leakage after prostate surgery may choose to have collagen implants.

Women who have urine leakage and want a simple procedure to control the problem may choose to have them. These women may not want to have surgery that requires general anesthesia.

Risks    Return to top

Risks for this procedure are:

Before the Procedure    Return to top

Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

You may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.

On the day of your procedure:

After the Procedure    Return to top

Most people can go home soon after the collagen injection. It may take up to a month before the injection fully works.

It may become harder to empty your bladder. You may need to use a catheter for a few days. These problems usually go away.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

You may need 2 or 3 more injections to get good results. You usually need to have injections repeated every 6 to 18 months.

Collagen implants help most men who have had transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). They help about half of men who have had their prostate gland removed to treat prostate cancer.

Update Date: 1/13/2009

Updated by: Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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