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Majority of Incontinence Treatments Deliver Poor Results

Majority of Incontinence Treatments Deliver Poor Results
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University of Gothenburg


University of Gothenburg (click to view)

University of Gothenburg

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A team of researchers have together studied thousands of research articles and other scientific documentation written about different treatments of urinary and fecal incontinence in adults around the world, published between 2005 and 2015.

The sheer scope of the research makes this work unique. The researchers sifted through the mass of material using harmonized criteria and ultimately came up with percentages indicating how well or poorly different methods had worked. For the results to be considered successful, the individual must have been cured of incontinence three months after the treatment.

Surgery ranks well ahead of other methods, delivering success in 82% of cases. Pelvic floor exercises rank second, with 53%, followed by drug treatment, with 49%.


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Bottom of the pile was treatment using so-called bulking agents, which was only successful in 37% of cases. This method involves injections of fillers into damaged tissue around the urethra in order to keep the area tight.

Urinary and fecal incontinence have an impact on well-being and quality of life and sometimes lead to people feeling isolated in life, both professionally and socially. They also have an adverse effect on sexual health and, as far as the elderly as a group are concerned, increase the risk of institutionalization.

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