BRISTOL – For the millions of women nationwide who suffer from stress urinary incontinence, daily activities such as laughing, coughing and sneezing are a source of embarrassment and discomfort.

A new surgical procedure offered at Bristol Regional Medical Center, however, is helping women beat stress urinary incontinence and resume a normal, active lifestyle.

The Gynecare TVT system combines the use of a polypropylene mesh tape with a traditional surgical procedure known as a sling to correct stress urinary incontinence. The minimally invasive surgery is performed under local anesthesia and has been found to have an 86 percent success rate in clinical studies.

“Women with stress urinary incontinence involuntarily lose urine during normal activities and movements,” said David Marden, D.O., of Highlands Physicians for Women. “Because the problem is both embarrassing and unpredictable, women often shy away from social situations and avoid an active lifestyle.”

Stress urinary incontinence is caused by an improperly functioning urethra, Dr. Marden said. Repeated straining, childbirth, loss of muscle tone and estrogen loss can weaken the pelvic muscles that provide support to the urethra.

The Gynecare TVT system works by providing the support the pelvic muscles no longer can. A mesh tape is woven through the patient’s pelvic tissue and positioned underneath the urethra, creating a supportive sling. When pressure is exerted – such as during a cough or sneeze – the tape provides the support needed by the urethra to keep its seal.

“Stress urinary incontinence is very common – especially as women get older,” Dr. Marden said. “But many women are reluctant to talk about the problem.

“This new procedure is a safe, minimally invasive treatment that provides immediate relief for most patients.”


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Jim Wozniak
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