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Sometimes self-management or the drugs your doctor prescribed do not improve your urgency urinary incontinence (UUI). In these cases, other treatment options are available. Together with your doctor you can decide which approach is best for you.

Common second-line treatment options for UUI are:

  • Botulinum toxin bladder injection
  • Nerve stimulation, also known as neuromodulation
  • Surgery to increase bladder volume

Bladder surgery

In case your symptoms have not improved with drug or other treatments, you may need surgery on your bladder. The goal of the procedure is to increase the capacity of the bladder. This will reduce the pressure in the bladder as it fills so that it can hold more urine.

The doctor makes an incision in your lower abdomen and uses a piece of your bowel to increase the size of the bladder. This procedure is called bladder augmentation or cystoplasty, and is rarely performed nowadays (Fig. 1). If this surgery is recommended, you will need to discuss its implications and side effects with your doctor because they can be significant.

Fig. 1: Bladder surgery to increase the size of the bladder.
Bladder surgery to increase the size of the bladder.