Researcher says injections may be answer to incontinence problems

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Women who suffer from stress urinary incontinence can be helped by collagen injections, even after surgery has failed, a medical researcher says. A majority of nursing home residents suffer from one or more types of incontinence.

The collagen can be effective even after urethral or periurethral surgery hasn't been, says lead researcher Dr. Philippe Zimmern, a professor of urology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. When injected into tissue surrounding the urethra, collagen can tighten the urethral sphincter, staunching urine leakage, experts say.

"Patients with persistent or recurrent incontinence often do not wish to undergo another surgery," Zimmern explained. "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."

The study was featured in the February issue of the Journal of Urology.