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Incontinence Treatment: Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: May 20, 2024

What is the Incontinence Treatment?

The urinary bladder retains the urine and when the muscle in the bladder contracts, the waste material is eliminated. A normal urinary bladder can hold up to 600 ml of urine. However, when the bladder muscle becomes weak and fails to work properly, leakage happens, that is, the urine comes out on its own, and the person cannot control it. This condition is called urinary incontinence.

This is an ailment that affects the older people more frequently. But that does not mean that others cannot be affected by it. The cause behind urinary incontinence does not have to be medical. Some beverages like caffeine, alcohol, aerated drinks and even spicy foods increase urine formation. And sometimes, it so happen that a person feels an urge all of a sudden and loses control, causing the urine to leak out.

Underlying medical condition that causes urinary incontinence are constipation, urinary tract infection, neurological disorders and diabetes. Even prostate cancer can lead to the development of this condition in men. In such cases the underlying condition needs to be treated. Preventive measures include some pelvic floor exercise, maintaining a good weight, consuming more fibrous foods that would improve bowel movements, avoidance of alcohol and smoking. If the condition is persistent, special medicines might also be prescribed.

How is the Incontinence Treatment done?

Once diagnosis confirms that a person is suffering from urinary incontinence, special trainings might be recommended to him/her. This includes bladder training, where the person has to practice the retention of urine for at least 10 minutes when there is an urge. In the beginning, the patient will face difficulties in following the routine. But gradually the bladder muscle will be strengthened and the person will not have to use the loo for more than once every 3 hours. The patient should also avoid certain beverages like alcohol, caffeine and intake of spicy foods.

Pelvic floor exercise is a good way to control excessive urination. To render this exercise successful one has to tighten the muscles that he/she uses while urinating, voluntarily, and hold the pose for 10 seconds. After this the person shall release and count till 5. The exercise should be repeated 10 times daily to improve bladder control. Anticholinergics, alpha blockers and topical estrogen are some of the medicines that can help improve the condition. Electrical stimulation might also help if the condition is severe.

There are some devices that specifically work to treat incontinence in women. These devices are usually inserted in the vagina. In case nothing works there are some interventional surgeries that will treat the condition. Your doctor would be able to determine which surgery suits you the best.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Anybody who faces difficulties in retaining the urine, or suffers from leaking urine is eligible to undergo treatment for urinary incontinence.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person who has kidney stones or bladder stones will not find respite with medications, and for them interventional surgeries have to be performed. On the other hand if medications work for a patient, he/she is no more eligible for a surgery.

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Are there any side effects?

The are no side effects of urinary incontinence treatment until and unless the patient has to undergo surgery. Some of the complications that might crop up as a result of surgery include infection of the urinary tract. The surgery can also make the condition adverse, like, the patient can have difficulty in emptying the bladder completely or suffers from frequent urination. The surgery can also affect sexual intercourse.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After surgery a patient should rest for a few weeks and should go back to normal activities only when the doctor says so. If a patient is advised to carry out exercise routines like kegel, then it should be kept in mind that the workout is followed every day.

If a patient is given medicines to control urinary incontinence, he/she should make sure that those medicines are taken regularly and timely. Apart from that the patient should abstain from drinking and smoking. He/she should also not drink coffee or eat spicy foods.

How long does it take to recover?

If an underlying medical condition like an urinary tract infection has led to the development of urinary incontinence then it takes 3 to 4 weeks for the symptoms to subside with the right medicines.

With exercises it takes a month or two to see improvement pertaining to urinary incontinence.

In case a person undergoes surgery to treat urinary incontinence, it will take at least six weeks for the patient to recover.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost for surgery in India can be anywhere between INR 20000 and INR 40000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Urethral support sling surgery is a kind of interventional method that can remove the discomforts associated with urinary incontinence permanently.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Kegel exercise is the best method to control urinary incontinence. In this exercise the patient has to flex the muscle that is used during urination. One has to contract the muscle and hold it for ten seconds before releasing the pressure gradually. Apart from that a patient should also eat foods rich in magnesium like corn, potatoes, bananas abs eat a good amount of milk, fish and eggs.

References

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Written ByDr. Rajeev Sarpal DNB - Urology/GenitoUrinary SurgeryUrology
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