Female Urology / Urinary Incontinence FAQ


What can I expect during my first office visit?

During your first office visit you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your medical problems, including medical history, medications, allergies, and social history.  You should come to the office with a full bladder so that a urine specimen can be analyzed.  A limited physical and pelvic examination will usually be performed.   The questionnaire that you completed will be reviewed by your physician.   At that time further testing may be recommended or a treatment plan will be formulated.


Urinary incontinence is just part of getting older isn’t it? 

No. It is true incontinence is common. However, it is not normal or expected. And women certainly don’t have to live with it.


Is my urinary incontinence bad enough to be treated?

This is a quality of life issue and the answer depends on the individual. Some women are severely affected by relatively small amounts of leakage. Other women don’t mind wearing a panty-liner. For simple urinary incontinence, our treatments are so minimally invasive and patient satisfaction is so high that we generally encourage to woman to seek treatment if they are bothered by their bladder symptoms.


Is the surgery for urinary incontinence painful? 

Every patient recovers differently. In general, minimally invasive surgeries of today are very well tolerated.


What is the best treatment for vaginal prolapse?

There is no correct answer to this question.  It all depends on the severity of the prolapse and associated symptoms including bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Also taken into consideration are patient age, patient expectation, and other medical conditions.  We will counsel a patient regarding all reasonable options and help you make the best decision for your individual circumstances. We offer both non-surgical and surgical treatments for prolapse, including transvaginal and robotic assisted laparoscopic procedures.


What is a urodynamic study/test and why do I need it?

It is a bladder test that measures your bladder sensation, how your bladder fills, and how it empties. It is an important test in helping to accurately diagnosis bladder problems.  The goal of the study is to reproduce the patient’s urinary symptoms.  The test requires a catheter to be placed in the urethra/bladder and rectum.  These catheters measure pressures in the bladder and bowel.  The bladder is then slowly filled with fluid in an attempt to replicate your bladder filling with urine. You may be asked to cough or strain and void/urinate during the study.  The test must be performed with the patient awake as it is an interactive test.   Each test is performed with some variation as it is individualized to the patient and her/his symptoms.  Once the patient has been properly set up for this study, the it usually takes less than thirty minutes to complete.


What is a cystoscopy?

This is an endoscopic test that allows your physician to see the inside of the urethra and bladder.  This is important to help rule out any intraurethral/intrabladder abnormalities which may be causing urinary symptoms.  This is most often done in the office with a fiber-optic scope and is well tolerated by almost all patients.  Once the patient is positioned the procedure takes less than five minutes. On occasions this is done in the OR under sedation in specific circumstances.


Will you see a patient for a second opinion?

The urologists of the Univeristy of Florida Department of Urology are urologic specialists who see patients from all over Florida, the United States and even internationally.  The problems that we see range from the relatively straightforward to the most complex.  We are happy to render a second opinion regarding any therapy you are considering.


Do you work with any other physicians in other department?

Our goal is to provide patients with the very best care possible and if needed, we will work with other physicians in different departments to coordinate your treatment.


What are the warnings I am hearing about concerning the use of vaginal mesh? 

There has been a lot of media attention regarding the transvaginal use of synthetic mesh for the treatment of urinary incontinence and repair of  vaginal prolapse.  In July 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication looking specifically at the use of transvaginal mesh in vaginal prolapse repair.

(http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm262435.htm).

This was accompanied by an FDA review of the scientific literature comparing mesh and non mesh transvaginal prolapse repairs

(http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/UCM262760.pdf).

This did not address the use of transvaginal mesh for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence or the use of abdominally placed mesh.  Further reports on the use of mesh in these cases will likely come out in the near future.


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