Collagen Injection for Bladder Sphincter Weakness
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Collagen implants are one method to help treat incontinence due to a weak sphincter. Collagen is a protein naturally found in the body of animals and humans. Implanting (injecting) animal collagen into the urethra may help close the sphincter and restore most or all control over urine flow. Collagen implants are usually done in the hospital on an outpatient basis. Local, regional, or general anesthesia may be applied during this procedure. The doctor inserts a cystoscope (a thin, tubelike telescope) into the urethra to better see during the procedure. A needle is inserted (either through the cystoscope or along the outside of the urethra) to the sphincter area. The doctor injects collagen through this needle into the wall of the urethra. The injections make the tissue close up, which stops urine from leaking out of the bladder. Collagen is injected around the urethra near the sphincter. The collagen “bulks” the urethral tissue, creating a seal that stops urine from leaking. During urination, the tissue separates naturally to allow urine to flow.