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Steve has received hundreds of questions from real people like you. Review Steve’s answers to the most popular questions. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, please get in touch with Steve.

Living with an Implant

  • How much pain is there after the surgery?

    In my personal experience, there was some pain and discomfort, but it went away quickly. In fact, I had a hernia repaired at the same time that I had my AUS (artificial urinary sphincter) implanted, and for me, the hernia repair was significantly more painful than the AUS surgery recovery.

  • Is the implant difficult to use?

    No, the device wasn’t difficult for me to learn how to use. It is simple for me to operate on a regular basis.

SUI Treatment Options

  • How important was it to see a “specialist” for a sphincter? Why can’t I go to the urologist who did my prostatectomy? He’s a surgeon.

    It’s critical to see a urologist who specializes in prosthetics because this is a very complicated area of medicine. If your current urologist specializes in prosthetics (which is rare) then you are set. If not, I recommend finding a specialist near you by visiting and entering your ZIP code.

  • Having incontinence is embarrassing. Any advice for me?

    Yes, get the implant. Seriously, I get it as I was wearing several diapers a day and it was beyond embarrassing. I stopped being social. I found myself not wanting to go to public events and I became depressed and isolated. The good thing is there is hope and treatment with the AMS 800TM AUS can restore your dignity, confidence and self-esteem!

Causes of SUI

  • My bladder leakage came on immediately after my prostatectomy, but my doctor says to wait. What should I do? Was it the same for you?

    My understanding is that most men will have some level of incontinence after surgery – that’s normal. But if after several months (say six to nine months) of healing, core exercises, losing weight as needed, etc., if you are still leaking then you should let your doctor know. One of the challenges is that your doctor’s number one priority is to save your life by eradicating your cancer. Side effects such as urinary incontinence may not be one of his or her primary concerns which is why you should then seek out a specialist who focuses on bladder leakage.

  • Because I just had radiation for my prostate cancer I thought I’d avoid the bladder leakage problem that I read about. Now what?

    This is very frustrating. Often, when I talk at educational events with my doctor, we see men who start to have significant urinary incontinence nine months to a year “after” radiation. The radiation damaged the urinary sphincter. I know this firsthand as I had little to no leakage after my prostate was removed but about nine months after radiation, I began to have significant urinary incontinence. Again, the good news is that there is a treatment option for this sort of incontinence caused by prostate cancer treatment.

Getting Treatment for Bladder Leakage

  • I am relieved to be cancer free. My doctor referred me to a prosthetic urologist to fix the problem I’m having with holding my urine, but the idea of another surgery is disheartening. When does this all end?

    This is perhaps the most difficult part of it all – “one thing after another.” I completely understand…this is where the psychological part of the battle can be a challenge. I still go through hard times and it really is like a roller coaster. But the good thing to know is that there are many, many good days ahead once you fix your incontinence! I am very happy I sought treatment.

  • Was the surgery for the sphincter the same or easier than the surgery you had on your prostate?

    In my experience, the surgery for the artificial sphincter was a lot less painful than my prostatectomy; the recovery was a lot easier.

  • I have both ED and incontinence. Can my doctor do both surgeries at the same time?

    Yes! I am not a doctor but I accompany one when he talks about ED and incontinence solutions. And so while I don’t have the ED implant, I do know from listening to him that both can be treated together. Remembering that every person and circumstance is unique, be sure to ask your specialist about having both treatment options done at the same time. Or, if two separate appointments for the procedures are recommended, find out how much time should be scheduled in between each surgery.

Cost and Insurance

  • Did you have any problems with your insurance coverage for the procedure you needed?

    Triwest paid 100% for my procedure.

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