What is an artificial bladder sphincter? (and do you have to manage it specially?)

Consider this: about 15% of men who undergo radical prostectomy will have urinary incontinence! An artificial bladder sphincter is a device that consists of a cuff around the urethra, a pump in the scrotum, balloon to hold fluid (acting as a buoy).The patient activates the sphincter to relax so they can pee, and the cuff closes by itself in 3-5 mins.

from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/presentations/100115_3.htm
from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/presentations/100115_3.htm

In my experience, the sphincter doesn’t have to be specially managed if a patient is admitted to the hospital for other reasons. You should let them use it as they do at home–unless of course, they were admitted with a UTI or concern for urinary issues, in which case you can always call their urologist!


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