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UTHSC recruits women for incontinence study

A middle-aged woman enjoys a luncheon with friends. She laughs at an amusing story but suddenly panics as she discovers an embarrassing problem — she has wet herself.

Urinary incontinence affects 35 percent of all women over the age of 50. More than 60 percent of those women have a condition known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI). SUI is the accidental loss of urine that occurs frequently with exercise, sneezing, coughing or any other activity that may put pressure on the abdomen and bladder. While many treatment options are available, surgical management of SUI is considered the mainstay. "The two most common surgeries for SUI being performed nationwide are the Burch and Sling procedures. While both procedures have been performed for years, the two have never been studied or compared in a meaningful and reliable manner," said Caren Prather, R.N., a member of the Division of Urology Incontinence and Voiding Dysfunction research team at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC).

The Health Science Center is recruiting women suffering from SUI for a surgical study that will compare the Burch and Sling procedures. The study will determine which of these standard surgeries keeps women dry longer, requires the least hospital time and has the fewest side effects.

Women interested in participating must be at least 21, must have suffered SUI for at least three months and must have no neurological diseases. Participants will be randomly selected for one of the procedures and will not know which surgery doctors performed until after the surgery.

For more information or to enroll in the study, call Prather at (210) 567-0548 or Sylvia Escobedo Sluder at (210) 567-0550.

The UTHSC is one of nine facilities involved in the study. The National Institutes of Health is funding the research.

Contact: Amanda Gallagher or Aileen Salinas