Urinary sling for stress incontinence

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Urinary incontinence can be an embarrassing problem to have and that keeps many people from bringing it up to their doctor. But the truth is that it's very common and in this Healthcast, we explain how one simple treatment option can restore a quality of life that was once lost.

Lorene Delino and her husband run the sort of shop where they still know folks by name.  For 35 years, Lorene's been serving up fresh seafood from the gulf at Holly Beach Seafood Market.  This work involves a lot of manual labor - something that has taken its toll on Lorene's body.  "Lifting crab boxes, shrimp, everything," she says, "50 pounds of shrimp, 20 pounds of shrimp."

About 15 years ago, Lorene began having her first issues with urinary stress incontinence. Dr. William Groves with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women says this condition is especially common in women who have had children or gone through menopause.  "It's the loss of control of urine with standing, coughing, sneezing, straining - any increase in abdominal pressure," says Dr. Groves.

While one in four women over the age of 18 experience episodes of leaking urine, the topic is something that many women feel to embarrassed to address.  "A lot of patients live with it, just thinking that it's normal, thinking that maybe it happened to their sister or their mom and they don't really want to bring it up," says Dr. Groves.

When Lorene finally decided to talk to Dr. Groves about her problem, he told her that there was a simple fix that could return her to a normal routine.  "The surgical treatment is what we call a mid-urethral sling and there are different types of slings," says Dr. Groves, "but all basically have the principle of placing a small synthetic piece of mesh under the urethra to support the urethra during straining and coughing and sneezing and exercises."

The mesh allows tissue to grow around it and hold it in place. Lorena had the outpatient procedure six weeks ago and says she can't believe she waited so many years to have it corrected.  "Oh, it changed my quality of life," says Lorena, "as far as myself, it changed everything. I feel good about myself. I can start exercising again."

*If Lorene's story is something that you can relate to, join Dr. Groves next Friday, May 29th at noon for a free seminar, "Avoiding the Water Works." it will be at the Shearman Conference Center in Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. It's free, but reservations are required.  Call 337-494-2936 to make yours.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)