Regenerative Urology can be used to help some women with urinary leakage.
Today, new technology affords us an opportunity to use surgical stem cell technology to heal and improve our tissues naturally which is especially important for patients who suffer from loss of bladder control.
Early work done on female incontinence in the 1980’s and 1990’s demonstrated that injections of a person’s own fat around the urethra may help leakage by bulking the tissues and increasing outlet resistance for the bladder. The procedure worked well in the short term but often the results would disappear but the end of 6-12 months because some of the injected fat would not take and get absorbed by the body. Fat derived stem cells can be used to enhance the fat and keep most of it alive indefinitely. This is the essence of “cell assisted lipo-transfer” (CAL) which is one of the most exciting areas of cosmetic surgery today. If applied to bladder leakage the stem cells keep the fat alive and healthy so that the leakage can be controlled in a natural and sustainable fashion.
The technique seems to work best for mild stress incontinence and also intrinsic sphincter deficiency (ISD) which is associated with a think and weak urethra often seen with hormonal changes and aging.
The procedure involves a mini liposuction followed by enhancement of the removed fat with stem cells from one’s own body (also obtained from a fat sample). These are injected together under local anesthesia (or rarely light sedation) to provide bulking around the urethra. The process takes 1 hour and is a minor outpatient procedure. Results can be immediate and there have been no complications on any of these procedures we have performed.
Dr. Lander is the Co-Medical Director of California Stem Cell Treatment Center® and the Cell Surgical Network™ which is an international research collaboration dedicated to the investigational use of adult mesenchymal stem cells found in fat tissue.