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Shattering the Myths of Incontinence  

Incontinence is often the leading reason for nursing home placement with approximately one half of all residents being incontinent. A persistent myth is that incontinence is a natural part of the aging process, or that nothing simple can be done to fix the problem.

Unfortunately, many people do not seek medical assistance because they are embarrassed, resigning themselves to using diapers or pads. Incontinence is a treatable condition and nearly 90% are improved or cured with proper treatment.
Since there are several types of incontinence and causes for voiding dysfunction, the first step is to receive the right diagnosis. Most of the time this can be done by a thorough discussion with your doctor and a focused physical exam. In some cases, cystoscopy (looking inside the bladder with a flexible telescope), ultrasound or urodynamics may be indicated. Urodynamics is the study of urination, the storage and emptying of urine. Urodynamics testing is a pain-less way of trying to reproduce in a laboratory setting, the conditions of the voiding problem, while measuring the various factions of the bladder and other related organs.

After diagnosis, a determination is made for the best therapeutic option. In many cases, this means non-surgical therapy such as biofeedback exercises. There are other methods available such as bladder training, timed voiding, Kegel exercises (pelvic floor exercises), maintaining a voiding diary, hormonal implants or instruction and guidance in new products and appliances. Finally, there are many surgical treatments and relatively simple procedures that have been recently developed.

Dr. Harvey Samowitz, M.D., is a Board Certified Urologist with fellowship training in incontinence, female, urology, and voiding dysfunction. He is the Medical Director of the Uro-Care Continence Clinics in South Florida. For more information please call Dr. Samowitz at (305) 466-9111.

Important Incontinence Numbers  

    National Association for Continence
    (800) 252-3337

    Simon Foundation
    (800) 237-4666  

    American Foundation for Urologic Disease
    (800) 242-2383  

    Dry Generations
    (206) 728-2467  

    Geddings Osbon Senior Foundation
    Incontinence and Impotence
    Information Center
    (800) 433-4215  

    American Medical Systems
    Incontinence and Impotence
    Information Center
    (800) 843-4315  


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