Artificial urinary sphincter

Artificial urinary sphincter

An artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) is an implanted device to treat moderate to severe stress urinary incontinence, most commonly in men. The AUS is designed to supplement the function of the natural urinary sphincter that restricts urine flow out of the bladder.

The artificial urinary sphincter is the gold standard of treatment for male urinary incontinence.

It has withstood the test of time, being unsurpassed by any other device for decades. The AUS is particularly effective for the more severe type of male urinary incontinence, where circumferential compression of the urethra is required. The AUS can be inserted via one or two small incisions.

The artificial urinary sphincter is a device that has a cuff that goes around the urethra, a pump in the scrotum, and a balloon in the abdomen. The cuff is closed most of the time, preventing leakage. When the patient cycles the device, using the pump in the scrotum, the cuff opens up and allows the patient to urinate. Over a minute or so, the cuff refills with fluid, thus causing continence again.

The device has 3 main components attached to each other: the cuff (surrounding the urethra), the pump (placed in the scrotum next to one of the testes) and the reservoir (placed in the pelvis). In the normal resting mode, the cuff is full of water, compressing the urethra. When the patient feels his bladder is full, he goes to the toilet and squeezes the pump, which opens the cuff, allowing urine to drain out. Over the next 2-3 minutes the cuff automatically re-fills, closing the urethra again.

To discuss male incontinence and its treatment, do discuss further with your urologist.