What is a male artificial urinary sphincter?

An artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) can be placed in men during surgery in order to treat stress urinary incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence involves the leakage of urine when you cough, sneeze or strain your body. An artificial urinary sphincter consists of a ring or cuff that is placed around the urethra. A pump is then placed in the wall of the scrotum, which is manually squeezed. When the pump is squeezed, fluid shifts from the ring to a reservoir or balloon that is placed behind the abdominal muscles. The movement of fluid allows the ring to open, causing the urethra to open and urine to pass. The ring will spontaneously close when fluid returns from the reservoir to the ring. When the ring is closed, the urethra is compressed and any leakage is stopped or reduced.

How does an artificial urinary sphincter work?

Once the artificial sphincter is in place and functioning, you will release the sphincter and empty your bladder by pressing a button hidden in the scrotum. Once urination is complete, the sphincter automatically closes, keeping urine in the bladder, and you dry.

What can I expect from the procedure?

The AUS is placed through an incision in the perineum (the space between the scrotum and the anus). A small incision in the lower abdomen is also made. The procedure usually takes 2-3 hours. An AUS can be placed through an incision at the base of the penis or in the perineum. The surgery can be performed with general or spinal anesthesia, and patients typically spend one night in the hospital.

A catheter will be placed during surgery, but it will be removed on the day that you are discharged. At the time of the surgery, the ring is locked in an open position so leakage will continue until the ring is activated. Activation is achieved by firmly compressing the pump (at around 6 weeks after surgery).

What can I expect from the results?

While the AUS is designed to provide continence, it will not be ready for use until 6 weeks after its insertion. It should only be activated by a doctor. You should not be dry immediately following your procedure. If you are, please notify us immediately, as this may be a sign that the sphincter has been activated before it’s ready for use. Some patients require a catheter for a few days after the procedure. Catheters should only be removed by your urologist.

Who is a candidate for this surgery?

Men who experience moderate-to-severe urinary leakage are candidates for this procedure. This may be the case if you’ve had prior prostate surgery, and your provider believes this treatment can help.

Schedule a consultation in Southern California

If you suffer from stress urinary incontinence, schedule an appointment at South Bay Urology. Our urologists can diagnose your condition and provide the proper treatment plan. In some cases, you may not need surgery. If AUS is recommended, we can provide the surgery. To schedule an initial appointment, give us a call at (310) 542-0199 or fill out the request form on our site.

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