What kind of doctor should I choose for urinary incontinence surgery?

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If you are planning surgery for urinary incontinence, you may have several choices of procedures. Among the factors in your decision will be the risks and benefits of each option and the specific problems your evaluation has revealed. In addition, you and your physician may favor one approach over another for individual reasons. Among things to consider: Is a rapid recovery and return to work a priority? Do you need another pelvic surgery -- such as a hysterectomy, tubal ligation, or treatment for prolapse (a condition in which a part of the body drops from its normal position) -- that can be done at the same time? Are you more comfortable using your own tissue or a synthetic?

In the rapidly changing field of incontinence surgery, not all surgeons may be prepared to offer the least invasive option suitable to your medical situation. Look for a urologist (a medical doctor who treats the urinary systems of both men and women) or urogynecologist (a gynecologist with special training and interest in incontinence) with substantial experience in urinary procedures, adept at cystoscopy (since the surgeon must use a lighted medical scope to inspect the inside of the bladder at the end of most procedures), and up to date with the latest approaches. Particularly if you are planning surgery for stress incontinence (leaking when coughing or jumping), if a surgeon offers only one option, seek a second opinion.

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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.