02/20/05 — Doctor to lead incontinence seminar

View Archive

Doctor to lead incontinence seminar

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 20, 2005 2:05 AM

Women needlessly suffer from incontinence out of embarrassment, lack of knowledge or lack of awareness of treatment options, says one local doctor. He hopes a free seminar on the subject this week will change some of that.

The brief meeting will be held in the new auditorium at Wayne Memorial Hospital on Tuesday evening at 6:30. Urologist John Kaspar of Wayne Urological Associates will lead the discussion.

Kaspar says stress incontinence is commonly caused
by pregnancy or childbirth, occurring when the pelvic floor structure that supports the bladder is weakened. The result is an involuntary loss of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting or exercising.

Women don't need to suffer in silence, though.

"You don't have to live with this," Kaspar said. "This isn't just part of getting older. There's some easy ways of fixing this problem with outpatient surgery."

In the past, women suffering from incontinence were treated with major surgical procedures that involved long recovery periods, lengthy hospital stays and risk of complications. A procedure called the Monarc Subfascial Hammock was introduced about 18 months ago, and Kaspar said he has been seeing a 90 percent success rate with the new outpatient method.

"It's about a 15-minute procedure, with minimal pain," he said.

Kaspar said he has performed about about 100 of the operations. He said they are easier to perform than in years past as well as being safer. Recovery time is also shorter -- there is no overnight hospital stay, and the patient goes home without a catheter.

"They can usually go back to a desk job in a week," he said, adding that they still need to refrain from heavy vigorous activities for about a month.

Kaspar said incontinence is not an "age thing." He said he has seen women as young as 25 who experienced it after having children, and patients up to 88 or 90 years old plagued by it.

The important thing, he said, is to educate patients about the problem and show them there is an easy way to address and correct it. He said the biggest obstacle to overcome is usually the embarrassment.

"That's a big factor why people don't come to the doctor," he said. "They think they're wasting our time by coming to us because it's a part of getting older.

"It's not a part of getting older, and we can improve their quality of life."

For more information on the seminar, call 735-1635.