Collagen injections can be beneficial for patients who still suffer from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) even after urethral or periurethral surgery, according to a study.
Collagen has been used to treat SUI because its injection into the tissue surrounding the urethra tightens the urethral sphincter, and stops urine from leaking.
"Patients with persistent or recurrent incontinence often do not wish to undergo another surgery," said Dr. Philippe Zimmern, professor of urology and the study's lead author.
"The collagen injection is also a good alternative for those who cannot afford recovery time from surgery or are too medically unfit or frail to undergo a second surgical intervention," he added.
During the study, the researchers reviewed the records of patients who underwent periurethral collagen injection between January 2000 and December 2006.
Patients were anesthetized briefly while the collagen was injected.
Of the 31 patients, 93 percent (29 women) considered themselves clinically improved or cured.
"Women need to know they do not have to live with SUI," said Dr. Zimmern.
"Although collagen injections might not work for everyone, the option is out there, and patients need to communicate with their physicians that they are afflicted with the condition to discover what treatments are possible," he added.
The study has been published in the Journal of Urology.