Weight-loss surgery could improve incontinence

24 June 2015

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), have found that severely obese people may see a significant improvement in urinary incontinence after undergoing bariatric surgery.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, is the first to examine the longer-term effects of the surgical procedure on incontinence three years after bariatric surgery. 

Dr Leslee L. Subak, first author and professor in the departments of obstetrics, gynecology & reproductive sciences, urology and epidemiology and biostatistics at UCSF, said it shows another important long-term benefit of bariatric surgery.

Incontinence is a significant problem for severely obese people, with 70 per cent of women and 24 per cent of men in this weight range experiencing problems.

In this study, the team looked at incontinence data from ten hospitals across the US including nearly 2,000 people who underwent bariatric surgery between 2005 and 2009. They were all asked about their experiences with incontinence, with nearly half of women and around a fifth of men having an episode of incontinence at least once a week prior to surgery.

After their bariatric procedure and a large weight loss, substantial improvements in incontinence were observed, with a majority of women and men achieving remission three years post-surgery. 

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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