Urology and Incontinence Services
Shepherd Center offers diagnostic, surgical, and bladder management services to disabled and able-bodied men and women.
Causes of Incontinence:
A variety of conditions can cause incontinence, including nerve damage from a spinal cord injury or neuromuscular disorders. In women, it also may be caused by pregnancy and multiple deliveries, frequent urinary tract infections, pelvic surgery or hormonal changes such as those that occur during menopause. In men, incontinence also may be the result of prostate problems.
Three types of incontinence have been identified as the most common:
- Stress incontinence, an involuntary loss of urine not caused by obstruction or injury. Small amounts of urine leak from the bladder when a person coughs, laughs, sneezes, jogs or performs some type of physical activity.
- Overflow incontinence, a condition that occurs when the bladder is too full and spills over. It can be caused by a blockage or obstruction of the bladder.
- Urge incontinence, the result of an overactive bladder or unwanted bladder contractions.
When a patient contacts Shepherd Center about a bladder-control problem, a staff urologist conducts an initial exam and performs other tests as necessary. The physician will discuss treatment options, conduct a brief flow study and get the patient's history. Patients are asked to record intake and output of fluid for two days in a voiding diary.
Common urological diagnostic and treatment procedures performed at the clinic include:
- Videourodynamics, a combination X-ray and bladder function test that shows how the bladder works and how well it stores urine
- Electrical stimulation/pelvic floor exercises, an exercise program with biofeedback designed to increase the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and return bladder control
- Water urodynamics, a diagnostic test that shows how the bladder works and how well it stores urine
- Intermittent catheterization (I.C.) instruction, training on inserting a catheter into the bladder to empty urine
In most cases, incontinence can be controlled without surgery. Shepherd Center urologists may prescribe pelvic floor exercises, medication, urethral balking agents, behavioral techniques or biofeedback. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove an obstruction or to mend weakened muscle or tissue.
Treatment of incontinence is covered by most private insurers, Medicaid and Medicare. Our staff will assist patients to determine their medical coverage.
For more information about incontinence services at Shepherd Center or to make an appointment, call 404-355-1144.