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Urinary Incontinence

CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT MODALITIES FOR URINARY INCONTINENCE

Kegel exercises - This technique was described in 1948 by Dr. Arnold Kegel for his gynecological patients who were suffering from urinary incontinence. The patient is instructed by the physician how to "squeeze in" the muscles that are used to interrupt urination (pelvic floor and sphincteric muscles). This behavioral approach can benefit many incontinent patients. Many others, however, find these exercises quite difficult to pursue and for them biofeedback sessions may provide cure for their urinary symptoms.

Biofeedback treatments - In this new, office based therapy, a computer driven system is connected to a vaginal or rectal probe that nurse applies. This system delivers electrical signals to specific pelvic muscles and records pressures that are generated during the contractions of these muscles. This "workout", allows the nurse to monitor and practice with the patient the appropriate use of the pelvic floor and sphincteric muscles, thus providing a conservative therapy for various types of urinary incontinence. The treatments are given once a week for a 6 to 10 sessions, are painless and are reimbursed by Medicare and most insurance companies.

 

by Yitzhak Berger, M.D.

Updated June 23rd, 2007

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