What is a Male Sling?
Male sling is a relatively new revolutionary surgical treatment option to treat male incontinence; its purpose is to support the sphincter valve which has suffered damage during previous prostate surgery.
Prostate screening and advances in medicine have resulted in an increase in men receiving treatment for problems with their prostate. Incontinence can affect 20% of men can after undergoing surgery on the prostate to treat prostate cancer (known as Post Radical Prostatectomy Incontinence), and unfortunately there is no way in identifying which men can be left incontinence after undergoing prostate surgery.
The main advantage of the male sling is that it is less invasive than the Artificial Urinary Sphincter procedure (for more details on the Artificial Urinary Sphincter click here . )
The male sling a relatively new minimally invasive treatment option, as a result clinical trials and publications aren’t widely available and long term results are limited. However Mr Almallah has written clinical paper published in the British Journal of Urology International (BJUI) Atlas of Surgical Devises. To read further click here, please note the images contained in the publication do contain nudity.
In 2010 Mr Almallah published in the reputable British Journal of Medical and Surgical Urology about the male sling being used to treat incontinence after having previous surgery to treat prostate cancer. The article titled “The male sling for post-radical prostatectomy. Urinary incontinence:urethral compression versus re-location or what is next?”.
How does the male sling work?
A male sling is suitable for men with less severe stress incontinence where their sphincter valve still has some degree of functionality, yet they still need to wear on average about two incontinence pads a day.
The sling resembles a hammock in shape and is made of a synthetic mesh. It has two ends which are positioned at both sides of the groin.
The sling is implanted into the pelvis, placed through a 4cm perineal incision behind the scrotum and is attached to a curve shaped needle and placed underneath the sphincter valve (which acts as a control mechanism) to support the sphincter and restore continence- see diagram below:
The male sling also forces the urethra higher up into the pelvis which offers the sling increased support when the bladder is under pressure, such as laughing, sneezing, exercising, lifting etc.
Men who have the sling inserted will benefit from improved bladder control so they no longer have to wear incontinence pads. Some men may need to still wear the occasional pad.
How safe is the treatment?
Following the operation to have the sling inserted, patients are catheterised and remain in hospital overnight, and allowed to go home the following day once the catheter is removed. The majority of patients simply need to take painkillers for a few days following the procedure.
All forms of surgery and undergoing an anaesthetic carry an element of risk which the will be discussed in detail with the surgeon prior to undergoing the procedure.
To minimise any potential risk all patients have an in-depth pre-operative assessment where full details regarding medical history and medication is taken, along with blood tests and any other appropriate health checks are made.
After underdoing the procedure some men may experience some perineal discomfort combined with some numbness and pain in the upper thigh- however this usually last for just a few weeks after having the operation to have the male sling fitted.
To read about a patient’s expeice having a male inserted at the Birmingham Bladder Clinic after being left incontinent for previous surgery to treat prostate cancer, please click here link to
Mr Almallah is one of just a few consultants in the UK who specialise in male sling surgery and in 2009 at the prestigious British Association of Urological Surgeons conference in Glasgow gave a clinical lecture to delegates of national and international urology experts about how continence in men can be restored by the male sling. For more details click here
A Testimonial from one of the patients that Mr Almallah has treated
To follow a patients journey of having an AUS fitted, please click the following link where you will be able to read a summary or watch an extract from the popular Channel 4 TV programme, Embarrassing Bodies. This addressed the issue of male urinary incontinence and followed Mr Zaki Almallah, Consultant Urologist while operating on Peter, aged 66 to correct his urinary incontinence following surgery for prostate cancer.