Injection of urethral bulking agentis a relatively non-invasive surgical treatment for stress incontinence. Urinary incontinence is loss of normal control of the bladder with involuntary loss of urine. In stress incontinence, activities such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, and even physical movement can put pressure on the bladder, causing leakage of urine.
Urethral bulking agents are biocompatible, non-absorbable and permanent synthetic materials which are non-allergic to the surrounding tissue. The material augments the sealing mechanism of the urethral wall and increases outflow resistance of the urinary bladder, in order to prevent involuntary leakage of urine during times of increased intra-abdominal pressure.
Bulkamid® is one of the available urethral bulking agents. The procedure is performed under anaesthesia and endoscopic guidance to ensure correct placement of bulking agent. The complete procedure requires about 15 to 20 minutes and is usually performed as day surgery.
Bulkamid® is composed of a hydrogel which consists of 97.5% water and 2.5% cross-linked polyacrylamide. Hydrogel has the special property of exchanging the water with the surrounding tissue and this helps the gel to resemble normal tissue. There are no solid particles in the hydrogel and this prevents any tissue hardening or impairment of urethral function.
The benefits of Bulkamid® include the following:
The procedure is performed with the help of endoscopy which enables the surgeon to view the urethra and the target site to precisely administer the injection.
The molecules of the bulking agent are comparatively large in size and this means that these molecules are less likely to migrate through biological membranes. The bulking agents are also not metabolized by any enzyme or bacteria and these make the Bulkamid® stay at the site of injection.
Treatment is comparatively non-invasive and mostly performed as day surgery.
Results are immediate with minimal recovery period.
Candidates for Bulkamid®
Urethral injection therapy using Bulkamid® may be an option for patients who are not suitable for other surgical procedures or patients with residual incontinence who have already undergone other surgical repairs. The treatment is also beneficial for women who prefer minimally invasive treatment and for women of child bearing age.
The contraindications of Bulkamid® include patients with acute cystitis, urethritis or other autoimmune diseases. Patients who are receiving high dose systemic corticosteroid treatment or who have active genital herpes are also contraindicated for Bulkamid® treatment.