Artificial Sphincter for Urinary Incontinence in Men

Submitted on March 27, 2012

When a person cannot release urine naturally, it is known as urinary incontinence. This could happen because of certain problems in the urinary tract, mental and physical disabilities, problems in the muscles and nerves of the bladder, and other urinary tract infections. While this isn’t a disease, it shows that there is a problem in the urinary tract.

This sort of incontinence can happen for a short or long period of time. It could be a short term or a chronic problem. If this is caused by a urinary tract infection, then the problem gets rectified once the infection heals. In some cases, when the problem is not cured, it can be managed.

Artificial sphincter for urinary incontinence

This sphincter is made with silicone rubber and is generally used for treating urinary incontinence. It has an inflatable cuff that can fit snugly around the urethra at the point where it joins with the bladder. The pressure of the cuff is regulated by a balloon, and the deflation and inflation is controlled by a bulb. Through artificial sphincter surgery, the balloon is placed in the pelvic area, while the control pump is in the scrotum.

An inflated cuff prevents leakage of urine, while a deflated cuff can let the urine pass.

What you should expect after the surgery takes place:

  • You will need to stay in the hospital since this is an abdominal surgery, and you will need post-surgery care.
  • Your surgeon will be able to tell you about your discharge date. This might depend upon the symptoms you are showing after surgery and how you are healing.


This surgery is carried out for the following reasons -

  • Control urinary incontinence that happens when the prostate is removed.
  • If urine keeps leaking from the urethra.
  • When other methods of treating the problem have failed.

Success Rate

This is generally a successful treatment. Nine out of ten men who have this surgery are happy with the procedure and the artificial sphincter.

Risks involve

  • Sometimes, people might need to have another surgery after a few years- in a decade or so.
  • Bruising and swelling are some of the other risks of this surgery.
  • Infection is another risk of the surgery.

What you should know during artificial sphincter surgery

Since there are chances of complications, this surgery is carried out on people who have tried other treatment options which have not worked out.