A breakthrough new procedure aims to restore quality of life to the hundreds of thousands of Australian men who suffer incontinence issues.
Insertion of an advanced artificial urinary sphincter can relieve stress incontinence caused by weakened or damaged muscles that control urination, which is a common side effect of prostate surgery.
Stress incontinence occurs when physical activity – such as coughing, laughing, sneezing, running, heavy lifting – puts pressure on the bladder and causes involuntary leaks.
Greenslopes Private Hospital urologist Associate Professor Eric Chung is the first surgeon in the Southern Hemisphere to insert the Rigicon ContiClassic device.
“Once patients with incontinence issues are fitted with an artificial urinary sphincter, they’re no longer constrained by incontinence pads and can exercise and undertake normal social interactions without the fear of wet pants or malodorous smell,” A/Prof Chung said.
“The Rigicon ContiClassic device provides the surgeon the ability to individualise antibiotics selection, offers more cuff-size choices and makes an easier connection between the device components compared to other urinary sphincter devices on the market.”
Urinary incontinence is more common with women, but also affects up to 10 percent of Australian men, according to a 2006 study.
A/Prof Chung performed the first ContiClassic procedure at the Brisbane hospital – part of the Ramsay Health Care group – on a 69-year-old man who developed urinary incontinence following a radical prostatectomy.
“It’s an honour to be the first surgeon in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere to use this artificial urinary sphincter,” he said.
“I believe, as a surgeon, we need to continue to stay at the forefront of technology so we can offer our patients suffering from urinary incontinence the most effective options to regain continence and quality of life.”
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