UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital is the first hospital in Dubuque to offer Cystoscopy with Bulkamid, a same-day procedure to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women.
Stress urinary incontinence is a condition where unwanted bladder leaks happen during normal day activities such as coughing, laughing, or exercise.
It’s estimated that one in three women will suffer from SUI at some point in their lives, often caused by pregnancy.
“It’s incredibly common,” said Dr. Alex Horchak, of UnityPoint Clinic Urology and president of the Iowa Urologic Society. “Women just assume it’s normal. Their mother leaked a little bit, their sister leaks a little bit, they’re leaking a little bit, but you really don’t have to leak in today’s world – it can be fixed.”
The minimally invasive outpatient procedure involves a series of 3-4 small injections, taking 10-15 minutes under a local anesthetic. It is clinically proven to provide long-lasting symptom relief for up to seven years.
Bulkamid is a urethral bulking agent – a soft, water-based gel that can be used to restore the natural closing of the urethra. Similar to some facial fillers, it remains in the body over time without causing reactions in the surrounding tissue.
It offers women another option to a mid-urethral sling, which comes with a risk of injuring the urethra and bladder.
“We really don’t have a lot to offer a woman who leaks but still wants to have more children,” Dr. Horchak said. “If you put mesh in, you know that the next pregnancy is going to tear it loose and destroy whatever we’ve done.”
Dr. Horchak recently performed the procedure on a 38-year-old woman who wasn’t sure if she might want more kids.
“It changed her life,” he said. “She can go back to the gym and work out, and she’s not worried about going to work and having an accident.”
To learn more about Urology services at Finley Hospital, visit this link.