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How surgery for stress urinary incontinence helped Julie get back to her active lifestyle

“Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) affects a lot more women than we probably know, and the treatment is life-changing in such a positive way that you will never doubt getting it
taken care of.” – Julie

The birth of a child is one of life’s most precious miracles. But going through multiple pregnancies and labors can damage muscles that support a woman’s pelvic organs, often resulting in stress urinary incontinence (urinary leakage).

In Julie’s case, she began to notice leakage after the birth of her third child — especially while exercising.

She could no longer do the cardio classes she previously loved due to the constant fear of wetting herself. Though she tried to mask her symptoms — even tried jogging in the rain — nothing was working. Discouraged by not being able to do the activities she loved and the thoughts of having to wear adult diapers for the rest of her life, Julie began to look for answers.

Meeting with a urogynecologist

A friend suggested Julie meet with a urogynecologist to find help for her incontinence. After her initial appointment, Julie began physical therapy to help improve her pelvic floor muscles. This provided temporary relief, but after a while her symptoms returned.

Julie went back to see her urogynecologist, who administered tests to determine how much leakage she had and if she was a candidate for surgery. They discussed the test results and decided that surgery was the best option for her.

“I wasn’t surprised; I was actually relieved that it wasn’t just me drinking too much water or drinking too much coffee. I just wanted to get it taken care of — I didn’t want to live with it anymore.” – Julie

Surgery, recovery and beyond

The outpatient surgery lasted about 45 minutes, and Julie went home the same day. She experienced soreness for a couple of days following the procedure. In Julie’s case, she was able to get up and walk around shortly after and had resumed all her normal activities after just four weeks.

Since her surgery, Julie is getting back to the things she loves again, such as exercising and playing with her three children, without limitations from urinary incontinence.

“I can do whatever I want in my exercise class, and I don’t feel limited at all. It’s really exciting, and I feel like I’m young again.” – Julie

Coloplast invited Julie to share her story. Each person’s experience is unique; your results may not be the same. Talk with your doctor about whether this product is right for you.

Looking for more information on urinary incontinence?

Understanding urinary incontinence

What are surgical treatment options?

Finding the right doctor

Important safety information

Altis® Single Incision Sling System
Important Safety Information

Stress urinary incontinence is a condition in which urine involuntarily leaks at times of increased pressure on the bladder (e.g., coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, exercise). Stress urinary incontinence can be treated with a surgical procedure in which a mesh sling is implanted to act as a “hammock” to support the urethra, the tube that connects to the bladder that carries urine outside the body. An incontinence sling surgery involves anesthesia and may require an overnight hospital stay.

The Altis Single Incision Sling System is indicated for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence (SUI) resulting from the urethra not closing properly (urethral hypermobility) and/or weakness of the urethral sphincter (intrinsic sphincter deficiency (ISD)).

Your physician should advise that the Altis Single Incision Sling System is not for females who have the following: are pregnant or have desire for future pregnancy • potential for further growth (e.g., adolescents) • known active urinary tract infection and/or infection in operative field • taking blood thinning medication (anti-coagulant therapy) • abnormal urethra (e.g., fistula, diverticulum) • any condition, including known or suspected pelvic pathology, which could compromise implant or implant placement, and • sensitivity/allergy to polypropylene or polyurethane.

Discuss with your physician:

  • The reason for choosing a mesh sling including the warnings, precautions and risks associated with its use
  • Alternative incontinence treatments that may be appropriate
  • The Altis sling to be implanted is permanent
  • Serious mesh associated complications may result in one or more revision surgeries
  • Partial or complete removal of the mesh may not always be possible or advisable as it may not fully correct these complications
  • New onset (de novo) complications and recurring or worsening SUI can occur
  • There may be unresolved pain with or without mesh explant and varying degrees of scarring may occur
  • Certain underlying conditions may be more susceptible to postoperative bleeding, impaired blood supply, compromised/delayed healing, mesh sling exposure or other complications

Potential additional risks versus benefits of using Altis should be considered in patients with one or more of the following: age-related underlying conditions • autoimmune disease • coagulation disorder • connective tissue disorder • debilitated or immunocompromised state • diabetes • pelvic radiation therapy or chemotherapy • physical characteristics (e.g., body mass index) • renal insufficiency • smoking-related underlying conditions, or • urinary tract anomalies.

Any future pregnancy could negate the benefits of this surgical procedure. Patients should report bleeding, pain, abnormal vaginal discharge or signs of infection at any time.

Complications are known to occur and may be immediate or delayed, localized or systemic, new onset (de novo) or worsening, acute or chronic, transient or permanent, new onset (de novo) or continuing, worsening, transient, or permanent.

Potential complications may include but are not limited to:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abscess
  • Adhesion
  • Allergic reaction, hypersensitivity, or abnormal (maladaptive) immune response
  • Bladder symptoms (e.g., increased daytime frequency, urgency, nocturia (urinating more than once per night), overactive bladder, urinary incontinence)
  • Bleeding/hemorrhage or hematoma
  • Delayed/impaired/abnormal wound healing
  • Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
  • Exposure, extrusion or erosion of mesh sling or suture into the vagina or other structures and organs
  • Fistula formation (abnormal connection or passageway that forms between two structures in the body)
  • Granuloma (small area of inflammation)/scar tissue formation
  • Hispareunia (male partner pain with intercourse)
  • Infection
  • Inflammation/irritation
  • Necrosis (tissue death)
  • Neuromuscular disorder
  • Pain
  • Palpable mesh (able to be felt by patient and/or partner)
  • Pelvic/urogenital pain
  • Perforation or injury to adjacent muscles, nerves, vessels, structures, or organs (e.g., bone, bladder, urethra, ureters, bowel, vagina)
  • Scarring
  • Seroma (fluid buildup at site of surgery)
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sling migration (movement)
  • Suture exposure
  • Ureteral obstruction
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Vaginal tightening/shortening
  • Voiding symptoms (e.g., dysuria (painful urination), urinary retention, incomplete emptying, bladder outlet obstruction, straining, position-dependent voiding, slow stream)
  • Wound dehiscence (re-opening of surgical incision)

This treatment is prescribed by your physician. Discuss the treatment options with your physician to understand the risks and benefits of the various options to determine if a mesh sling is right for you.

Caution: Federal law (USA) restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.

Minneapolis, MN
PM-03328 02/2024