Health Watch - Bladder Control For Women

Sharon Tomlinson is going for the green today. But it wasn't long ago she was too embarrassed to play golf … or even go out at all, always in fear that an accident might happen.

"If you cough, lots of times you would find yourself wet, and it became awkward," Tomlinson says.

She suffered from urinary incontinence.

"I always had to take a change of clothing with me wherever I went," Tomlinson says.

A balloon could help millions of women like her!

"This will provide a permanent solution," says Naill Galloway, M.D., a urologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

The Adjustable Continence Therapy (ACT) is implanted through two small, barely noticeable incisions in a woman's labial fold. An adjustable balloon is placed on each side of the urethra. They're inflated with fluid to support the muscles and stop incontinence.

"The patient who's offered this kind of treatment has to have a bladder control problem that's truly due to weakness," Dr. Galloway says.

Dr. Galloway believes this could help millions of women if they just admit they have a problem, like Tomlinson finally did.

"A lot of women are embarrassed to say anything about it," she says.

Fed up, Tomlinson took care of her problem and is now back in the game.

ACT is still in clinical trials. Researchers at a recent medical conference presented data showing those who use the device report significant improvement. ACT is reversible if it doesn't work for some reason and more fluid can be added to the balloon if needed.

A similar device called "Pro-ACT" is being tested in men with stress urinary incontinence after prostate surgery.


Emory Health Connection
Emory University Medical Center
Atlanta, GA
(404) 778-7777 or (800) 75-EMORY

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