More than six-million American women suffer from urinary incontinence and a sneeze, a cough, even a laugh can cause embarrassment. The problem usually begins with childbirth, which weakens the pelvic muscle. Then years later, the effects of age and added body weight take another toll. Eventually, a woman's urethra drops through the pelvic muscle, and when that happens it may be difficult to control the urge anymore.
"Maybe I have to go like ten times a day," says Guadalupe Bello, who used to run to the bathroom frequently everyday.
"If I didn't get there pretty quickly, I would have an accident, and that's very embarrassing," says Eileen Lettal, who is looking for a way to deal with incontinence.
"Sometimes, if I go to the store or to my job and I have to run to the restroom," says Bello.
Medicine can help urinary incontinence, and when that doesn't work, the standard surgery usually leaves a mesh sling inside the woman to offer more support. But now, there's a new way to fix the problem without major surgery. Eileen and Guadalupe are both benefiting from the procedure which was just approved this year.
The surgery is called Bladder Neck Suspension using radio frequency. The urethra is pulled up to its original position, then anchored in place with a heating tool that shrinks and tightens the tissue near the pelvic muscle. It will only take a few minutes, and since it is being done entirely through the vagina, there are no abdominal incisions to heal. Patients go home the same day. It has a 90% improvement rate.
We made quite a few calls today and could not find it available anywhere here in Lubbock yet. But since it is recently FDA approved, it may be on its way here. For information on how to contact Dr. Menchaca, of Lagrange Hospital in Illinois, (click here).