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How effective is a bulbourethral sling for treating male incontinence?

Marc B. Garnick, MD
Hematology & Oncology
Research has shown that bulbourethral slings are an effective treatment for incontinence. In one study involving 71 men who responded to questionnaires following surgery, 68% of patients used two or fewer absorbent pads a day; 36% of those patients required no pads. Effectiveness of the procedure may vary, however, depending on the material used in the sling. One study, involving 36 men who were followed for a year, compared two types of slings. It found that 56% of men who received a pigskin sling regained continence, while 87% of those who received a silicone-mesh sling did. Another study looked at the success rate of a Dacron or polypropylene-mesh sling; among the 30 men in the trial, 66.7% regained continence. If you are considering a sling procedure, ask your doctor about success rates for the type of material he or she plans to use.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.