Thursday, October 25, 2007

Urinary Incontinence & Weight Loss Surgery

We saw some great data about the improvement or resolution of diabetes type 2, hypertension, high cholesterol and sleep apnea after bariatric surgery.

We also read the report about the improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms. Stress urinary continence, however, is not widely talked about. It is the condition in which patients may lose control on their bladder when they sneeze, lift something heavy, laugh or cough. We know that this is common with obesity. Do we have research to back-up the common knowledge that stress urinary incontinence may improve or resolve after bariatric surgery? Well, a recent study from the Weight Management and Metabolic Health Center, University of South Florida, Health Sciences Center, Tampa, Florida by Kurubam et al, that was published in the October 2007 issue of the journal "Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases"

They, prospectively, collected data from 201 candidates for bariatric surgery. They found that 32% of the patients reported urinary incontinence. Of those 65 patients, 45 underwent bariatric surgery. Of the 38 patients who had complete postoperative follow-up for at least 6 months, 50% enjoyed resolution of urinary incontinence while 37% had reported residual slight-to-moderate incontinence. Residual severe urinary incontinence was reported by 13%. In general, patients reported improvement within 4 months or after losing 50 lb. While the findings of this study are certainly very encouraging, the authors concluded that their findings warrant additional investigation with urodynamic studies.


Kurubam D R, Almahmeed T, Martinez F, Torrella TA, Haines K, Nelson LG, Gallagher SF, Murr MM. Bariatric surgery improves urinary incontinence in morbidly obese individuals. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2007 Oct 17; [PMID: 17950043]