Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Artificial Sphincter for Urinary Incontinence in Men
Committed to Safety: As we resume services, we are taking all necessary precautions to keep you safe while we care for you. Please note that visitor restrictions remain in place. Get more information on COVID-19.
An artificial sphincter is a device made of silicone rubber that is used to treat urinary incontinence.
An artificial sphincter has an inflatable cuff that fits around the urethra close to the point where it joins the bladder. A balloon regulates the pressure of the cuff, and a bulb controls inflation and deflation of the cuff. The balloon is surgically placed within the pelvic area, and the control pump is placed in the scrotum.
The cuff is inflated to keep urine from leaking. When urination is desired, the cuff is deflated, allowing urine to drain out.
Because these procedures involve abdominal surgery, hospitalization is required.
You will most likely be able to leave the hospital the day after having the surgery.
Installation of an artificial sphincter may be done for:
Artificial sphincter placement is a successful treatment for up to 90 out of 100 men who have incontinence after prostate removal. And most men are happy with the artificial sphincter.footnote 1
Complications with this type of surgery include:
Men with these problems usually need to have another surgery (revision). This happens in about 23 out of 100 men who have the surgery.footnote 1
Because complications may occur, this is a treatment method that generally is reserved for people for whom all other treatment options have failed. Some people may prefer to manage their symptoms with continence products (such as absorbent pads, incontinence clamps, or pressure cuffs) and changes in habits rather than to have this surgery.
Wessells H, Peterson AC (2012). Surgical treatment of male sphincteric urinary incontinence: The male perineal sling and artificial urinary sphincter. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed., vol. 3, pp. 2290–2305. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineChristopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.