What is Artificial Urinary Sphincter Surgery?
If your urinary sphincter has weakened, causing your bladder to leak urine when you laugh, cough, or sneeze, you may need to have an artificial sphincter surgically inserted. Urinary sphincters are muscles around the opening of the bladder that hold urine in. An artificial urinary sphincter performs the same functions as these muscles with its three components:
- The cuff, which is placed around the tube where urine flows out of the body (called the urethra).
- The balloon, which is implanted under the muscles in the abdomen.
- The pump, which is inserted in the scrotum (men) or under the skin on the lower abdomen (women).
Surgery to place an artificial sphincter requires two incisions -- one on the abdomen, and the other in the area between the anus and scrotum (men) or in the labia (women). A hospital stay of one to three days is necessary after this operation, and it takes about six weeks for a full recovery.