Urinary Incontinence can be Improved by Weight-loss Surgery

Patients with urinary incontinence are found to show persistent improvements seven years after bariatric surgery, as per a large longitudinal study at the University of Pittsburgh, published in JAMA Network Open.

What is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is a common complaint among adults with severe obesity. The majority of adults with urinary incontinence who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, the two most common types of weight loss surgery, can reasonably expect enduring improvements in urinary incontinence.

Wendy C. King, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, and colleagues followed 1,227 men and women enrolled in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 study.

Participants, who had a median age of 46 before surgery, were surveyed about urinary incontinence episode frequency before and annually after surgery.

Bariatric Surgery for Urinary Incontinence

Before undergoing bariatric surgery for urinary incontinence, 52% of female participants reported at least weekly urinary incontinence; post-surgery, it decreased to 20% after 3 years and 30% after 7 years; 25% of male participants reported at least weekly urinary incontinence before surgery; post-surgery, it decreased to 10% after 3 years and 15% after 7 years.

The researchers said that despite a small backslide from 3 to 7 years post-surgery, when some weight regain is common, the continued durability of these improvements is particularly notable given the increased risk of urinary incontinence that would be expected due to aging.


“Obesity is a risk factor for urinary incontinence, which negatively affects the quality of life,” said King. “Durable improvement in urinary incontinence is an important benefit of modern-day bariatric surgical procedures, which should be discussed with patients with severe obesity when making treatment decisions.”

Source: Eurekalert

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