We now have a non-surgical approach to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The Renessa treatment by Novasys uses a small probe which a physician passes through the urethra. The treatment can be performed in the convenience of a physician’s office or other outpatient setting. There are no incisions, bandages or dressings required. Recovery is rapid and comfortable, with minimal post-procedure limitations.
The Renessa procedure uses radiofrequency energy (RF) to generate controlled heat at low temperatures in tissue targets within the lower urinary tract. The heat denatures collagen in the tissue at multiple small treatment sites. Upon healing, the treated tissue is firmer, increasing resistance to involuntary leakage at times of heightened intra-abdominal pressure, such as laughing, coughing or during exercise, thereby reducing or eliminating SUI episodes.
RF has been routinely used by physicians in the treatment of numerous conditions for many decades. At higher temperatures than those generated by the Renessa System, RF energy can cut and/or ablate tissue for the treatment of upper airway disorders, cardiac arrhythmias, benign prostate hyperplasia, excessive uterine bleeding (menorrhagia) and other conditions. Low temperature RF is used to treat luminal disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, fecal incontinence, and now, female stress urinary incontinence.
Benefits of the Renessa treatment include:
Following the Renessa procedure, patients can return to most normal daily activities the same or the next day with minimal limitations.
About Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the most common type of urinary incontinence, affecting 15 million women in the United States alone. SUI is the involuntary leakage of urine which occurs during periods of increased intra-abdominal pressure (?stress?). SUI occurs with laughing, sneezing, coughing, exercise, lifting, and other activities. The primary cause of SUI is inadequate support of the bladder, resulting in bladder outlet hypermobility. SUI affects women of all ages, including approximately 25% of women age 30-59 years, particularly those who have delivered at least one baby vaginally.
While not a life threatening disorder, SUI diminishes a woman’s quality of life, often limiting her professional, social, sexual, and recreational activities. A variety of therapeutic options are available to treat women with SUI. These approaches are broadly divided into non-surgical and surgical treatments, and each category has specific benefits and risks. The SUI Therapeutic Spectrum shown below summarizes where the various non-surgical and surgical treatments currently available fall along a continuum of invasiveness.
There are several non-surgical approaches to the treatment of SUI; however, these often require multiple and repeated treatments over weeks and months to achieve and maintain effectiveness. Some non-surgical treatments, such as urinary plugs and vaginal pessaries, mechanically block urine leakage. Other therapies, such as Kegel exercises, biofeedback, physical therapy, and pelvic floor electrical stimulation, attempt to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These strengthening approaches have limited effectiveness and patient compliance problems. Bulking agents (which are injected into the urethra to partially obstruct the flow of urine) are not approved by the FDA for the treatment of SUI due to hypermobility, but are nonetheless used by some physicians in these patients. Effectiveness is limited, multiple treatments are often required and some agents are associated with a higher incidence of adverse events than other treatment options. While the various surgical treatments have demonstrated adequate effectiveness, they all pose greater risk to the patient than the non-surgical treatments. The most common type of surgical treatments are referred to as sling procedures because they involve insertion of an implant (known as a ?sling?) to support the bladder and urethra. These treatments range from traditional invasive, open surgical procedures to the more recently introduced, less invasive laparoscopic or percutaneous sling insertion techniques. All can result in post-operative pain, prolonged post-operative recovery, and significant costs. Furthermore, some women who have undergone a surgical treatment report continued leaking. Surveys have shown that many women with SUI are not interested in a surgical therapy.