For men and women who are faced with an extreme or complicated case of incontinence, the artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) can be a viable option to help control the condition. The AUS is a surgically implantable device used to restore urinary control in men and women. For trauma victims, patients who are experiencing incontinence following a surgery for prostate cancer, and for those who have congenital defects in the urinary system, the AUS can provide excellent long-term results. The device has three components including a pump which goes inside the scrotum (or labia in women), a balloon reservoir which holds the fluid for the devise and a cuff that encircles the urethra and prevents urine from leaking out. The pump can be activated (usually by squeezing or pressing a button) to deflate or shrink the cuff and permit the bladder to empty. After a short period, the cuff refills itself and the urethra is again closed.
While the artificial sphincter has proved successful for many patients, it is subject to the same risks as any other implant. Once the devise is inserted, regular visits to your doctor should be scheduled so that the implant can be checked to ensure that erosion of the device or infection has not entered the body.