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Urinary Sphincter Replacement
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Urinary sphincter replacement is surgery to replace your urinary sphincter with an artificial urinary sphincter (AUS). The urinary sphincter is a muscle that surrounds your urethra. Your urethra is a tube that carries urine from your bladder to outside your body. Your urinary sphincter squeezes your urethra to keep urine in your bladder until it is time to urinate. An AUS keeps urine from leaking when your urinary sphincter no longer works as it should.
- An AUS device has a balloon reservoir, a cuff, and a pump that connect together. When your AUS is turned on, liquid inside the balloon flows into the cuff. When the cuff is filled, it squeezes your urethra and prevents urine from leaking out of your bladder. To urinate, you press the pump, which relaxes the cuff and allows urine to flow out of your bladder.
- Medicines may be needed to decrease pain or to prevent infection.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP or surgeon in 1 to 2 weeks:
You will need to return to have your wound checked. You will also need to return in 6 to 8 weeks to have your AUS turned on. Caregivers will teach you how to use your AUS. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Care for your wound as directed. When you are allowed to bathe, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.
Avoid activities and exercises that put pressure on your genital area or your wound. Ask your PHP or surgeon which activities are best for you. Do not have sex for at least 6 weeks after surgery. This gives your wound time to heal. Ask your PHP or surgeon when you can return to work and other daily activities.
When to turn off your AUS:
Turn off your AUS as directed. You may need to turn off your AUS at the following times:
- At night to decrease pressure on your urethra and prevent damage
- For procedures that involve your urinary system
- The last 3 months of pregnancy to prevent cuff damage from the baby's head
Contact your PHP or surgeon if:
- You have a fever.
- Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
- You have pain when you urinate, or you see blood in your urine.
- You have to press the pump more times than usual to open the AUS.
- Your AUS cuff is on and closed, and you keep leaking urine.
- You do not think you are emptying your bladder completely when you urinate.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You cannot urinate.
- You cannot find the pump to open your AUS.
- Urine is leaking from your wound.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.