Dorene Fieck (R) with Stephany Sanderson, RN
It was a Valentine's Day Dorene Feick will never forget. Not because of flowers and fancy dinners -- but because it was the day her urinary incontinence ended.
Feick knew all about pelvic floor disorders (PFDs). In 1992 she suffered from pelvic organ prolapse. Her uterus was pushing on her bladder and she had what she described as "bad, bad back pain." Doctors inserted a sling to hold her bladder in its proper position. "I was good to go for years," Feick said.
But in the last few years Feick began to experience stress incontinence. She leaked urine. "I'd cough and pee at the same time," she said. "I had moments of urgency. When I had to go, I had to go."
Feick started wearing pads to absorb the urine. "Sometimes I even had to change my clothes," she said. "I'd carry a change of clothes around. I had to plan out everything so I'd be prepared."
Urinary incontinence like Feick's is not unusual, said double Board-certified Urologist and Urogynecologist Michael Feloney, M.D. An estimated one-third of adult women are affected by at least one pelvic floor disorder. These include urinary continence, fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse (where pelvic organs drop or press into the vagina). Known causes are obesity, pregnancy, weak connective tissue in the pelvis, even heredity.
Pelvic floor disorders shouldn't be a condition that a woman feels she has to "manage," said Dr. Feloney. "Many women think they have to live with it. That's not at all the case. It can be addressed and treated."
Treatment can be very simple, Dr. Feloney said. Feick underwent a procedure where Dr. Feloney inserted a TOT (transobturator tape) sling. The sling stabilizes the urethra in its normal position and is now considered the "gold standard" in the surgical treatment of stress incontinence. The TOT sling procedure is a quick 30-minute outpatient procedure with a high success rate of 90 percent. Complications are minimal and recovery is fast.
"I had relief within the first 48 hours!" Feick said. She was able to go back to work and to start taking care of her grandchildren again.
"Nobody wants to admit they have incontinence," she said. "It makes you feel less dignified. You lose your dignity. You lose your self-respect." She said she's now enjoying life again.
Her advice to anyone who's suffering from incontinence: "Go see Dr. Feloney. He'll fix ya!"
You are not alone. One in three women is affected by a Pelvic Floor Disorder (PFD). While PFDs are common, they are not a normal or acceptable part of aging. They can often be reversed and effectively treated with painless, low-cost treatments options. We can help.
Talk with a pelvic floor expert today.