WHAT IS IT?
Bulkamid Hydrogel is a transparent polyacrylamide gel. It does not migrate and is not broken down in the body. There are no allergies. It has been used in plastic surgery for over 10 years.
HOW IS IT INJECTED?
A telescope is inserted into the urethra (the tube from the bladder). Using this telescope a needle is inserted into the lining of the urethra, just below the bladder. This narrows the urethra, reducing urine leakage. It can be performed under local anesthesia and takes about 10 minutes.
WHAT IS THIS PROCEDURE USED FOR?
It is used for the treatment of stress incontinence. Its advantage is that it is a simple low risk in-office procedure with immediate return to normal activities. It may be the best choice in women who for various reasons have either an increased risk or do not wish to undergo more invasive surgery or a general anaesthetic. It may suit some women who have only a mild degree of incontinence despite more conservative treatments like pelvic floor exercises. It may be a good option for people who are unable to take work or time to recover because of other commitments and are looking for a treatment option with a quick return to usual activities. It may also be a good option in patients who have difficulty emptying their bladder or who are at risk of bladder emptying problems as this procedure has a much lower risk of other urinary retention problems.
HOW MANY INJECTION TREATMENT SESSIONS ARE NEEDED?
It usually takes an average of 1-2 treatments, to achieve best results. After the first injection it is not uncommon for initial improvement to wear off and some incontinence to return. It may not be until after the second injection that a more durable result is achieved. A three month period is required between each injection session if more than one treatment is required.
HOW LIKELY IS IT TO WORK?
Early studies show at an average of 2 years after treatment 60% of people are still significantly improved.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
The procedure takes about 10 minutes.
WHAT PREPARATION IS REQUIRED?
No special preparation is required before arrival. You do not need to fast. On arrival you will be asked to empty your bladder before the procedure.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTERWARDS?
The first few times you pass your urine after the procedure you may see a small amount of blood (as few as 5% of patients), and you may experience a burning sensation. These symptoms are short lived and usually resolve within 24 hours. It is possible for a small proportion of the Bulkamid to escape from the injection site and be passed in the urine as a clear gel. Any improvement in incontinence is immediate. Most patients have no difficulty but some patients (as few as 10%) may have difficulty emptying their bladder because of swelling of the tissues. This is usually short lived, less than 48 hours. Following assessment of the effects of the first injection session, a second injection session may be arranged. This is performed after three months to allow the first lot of Bulkamid to become incorporated into your tissues. Earlier second injections can result in some of the first lot leaking out. Remember two or more injections may be needed to benefit fully.