People tend to think of incontinence as something that only affects the elderly, but many younger women experience light bladder leakage, especially after childbirth.
Light bladder leakage, medically known as stress incontinence, is the most common type of incontinence. It affects 1 in 3 Australian women over the age of 35. Many women who suffer light bladder leakage find it embarrassing but don’t seek advice or treatment, and remain unaware that a simple yet effective solution is available.
Remedy Laser is pleased to introduce IncontiLase™, a new laser procedure for stress incontinence developed in Europe and now growing in popularity throughout the world. The doctors at Remedy Laser have special skills in the use of this ground breaking technique.
What is stress urinary incontinence?
Stress urinary incontinence is the leaking of small amounts of urine during physical activity such as lifting, running, jumping or exercising.
An increase in pressure on the bladder when coughing, sneezing or laughing can also cause urinary leakage.
Light bladder leakage is a very common problem affecting many women, especially after childbirth. It can also occur with ageing and menopause.
What causes light bladder leakage (LBL)?
The major cause of stress urinary incontinence is a lack of proper support of the bladder and urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside). This happens after childbirth and with ageing, because tissues in your pelvic area become lax or loose.
What is IncontiLase™?
IncontiLase™ is an effective, safe, non-surgical and virtually painless procedure using an Er:YAG laser.
It is an alternative to common surgical procedures such as the use of meshes or slings. It can even be useful in women who have had failed surgery.
IncontiLase™ is a simple walk-in and walk-out procedure, with no down time required. There is no preparation required prior to treatment, and there is no need for pain-killers, antibiotics or any other medications after treatment.
Advantages of IncontiLase™
The IncontiLase™ laser is a safe, complication-free alternative to surgery which provides extremely effective relief from LBL.
Unlike surgery, IncontiLase™ doesn’t involve injections, cutting, bleeding or sutures.
Most women do not feel any pain during the procedure. There can be a sensation of heat at times, but this can be easily relieved by a local anaesthetic gel.
No down time
It is truly a walk in and walk out procedure, with no preparation required prior to the treatment and no disruption to activities afterwards.
There are no reported problems with treatment. There’s no need for pain killers or antibiotics.
How does IncontiLase™ work?
IncontiLase™ uses special attachments enabling the application of carefully controlled laser energy into the vaginal canal. Particular attention is given to the front of the vagina, which is where the urethra runs.
The aim is to cause a painless heating effect, leading to a shrinkage of collagen fibres. The result is a tightening, thickening and strengthening of tissues that support the urethra.
Two treatment sessions are required to ensure an effective and long lasting control of light bladder leakage. The effect of the treatment is immediate, and the result actually continues to improve for 6 months after treatment as your body lays down more collagen.
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Can IncontiLase™ help you?
IncontiLase™ is suitable for all women with stress urinary incontinence.It is not useful to treat women who suffer from a different type of problem called urge incontinence, which is the sudden uncontrollable and urgent need to pass urine. It is also not suitable for other problems with your “water-works” such as nocturia (the need to pass urine in the middle of the night) or if you have no bladder control.
Take the Incontinence Questionnaire to see if the doctors at Remedy Laser can help you.
Answer “yes” or “no” to the following 6 questions
- Do you leak urine when you cough or sneeze?
- Do you leak urine when you bend down or lift something?
- Do you leak urine when you walk quickly, jog or exercise?
- Do you leak urine when you are undressing to go to the toilet?
- Do you have to rush to to the bathroom because of a sudden strong urge to pass urine?
- Do you get such a strong, uncomfortable need to pass urine that you wet yourself before reaching the bathroom?
If you answered “yes” to any of the first 3 questions and “no” to all of the last three questions.
You seem to have stress incontinence. Our doctors would be very confident of eliminating your bladder leakage using IncontiLase™.
If you answered “yes” to any of the first 3 questions and also answered “yes” to any of the last 3 questions.
You seem to have a combination of stress and urge incontinence. IncontiLase™ should stop you leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, bend down, lift something, jog or exercise. It should improve your urge incontinence, but might not completely eliminate it.
If you answered “no” to all of the first three questions and “yes” to any of the last three questions.
You seem to have urge incontinence. IncontiLase™ is unfortunately of no use in treating this type of incontinence. You should ask your GP about a referral to a urologist.
Are there any side effects?
There are no long term complications following an IncontiLase™ treatment.
In fact, the vast majority of women experience no side effects at all.
A small number of women (less than 1 in 20) might experience minor issues such as a stronger than usual vaginal discharge, a little bit of spotting or bleeding, some redness or a slight pain. None of these issues are likely to last more than a few days.
The process – stop being embarrassed by LBL
Freeing yourself from stress incontinence requires just three or four visits to Remedy Laser.
One of our doctors will perform a thorough medical assessment to evaluate your incontinence and your suitability for laser treatment.
Your bladder needs to be full when you arrive for this assessment.
Please empty your bladder and then drink a litre of water at least an hour before your appointment. It is important that you don’t then go to the bathroom until after our doctor performs an ultrasound to measure your urine volume.
We use an ultrasound device to measure your bladder volume. Other tests might also be performed at this visit (please refer to Screening in our “Plus” menu).
It’s time for your first IncontiLase™ treatment. There is no special preparation required prior to this treatment, no significant discomfort during treatment, and you’ll likely walk out with an immediate reduction in stress incontinence.
You can immediately return to your normal life, but it is advisable to abstain from intercourse for a week.
Excessive exercise and heavy lifting should also be avoided.
You will have your second IncontiLase™ treatment 4 weeks after the first. The aim of the second treatment is to give a long lasting and even more effective relief from LBL.
A third IncontiLase treatment is usually scheduled another 4 weeks later. Whilst the light bladder leakage should have been remedied after your first two treatments, a further treatment, although optional, is highly recommended for a longer lasting result.
All gynaecological treatments at Remedy Laser are performed by experienced doctors trained in the use of medical grade lasers.
See more about our team at Remedy Laser on our About Us Page
Listen to an interview on 2GB radio with Dr. Philip Mathen here
If you would like to learn more about this treatment or make a booking, please call 02 9411 3352 or send us an enquiry using the form below.
Located in the Concourse Medical Precinct.
Car park entrance via Ferguson Lane off Archer Street, 1st hour free.
Need a Second Opinion?
If you are at all concerned about the procedures involved here at Remedy and whether or not they are right for you, we are more than happy to discuss treatment options with your GP.
Please see our GP Contact Page for more details.