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Thermal-Based Laser May Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence

Findings less promising for mixed urinary incontinence after one year of follow up

TUESDAY, Sept. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Noninvasive erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Er:YAG) laser treatment appears promising for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Urška B. Ogrinc, M.D., from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and colleagues evaluated the noninvasive Er:YAG laser as a potential treatment strategy for 175 women (mean age, 49.7 years) with SUI (66 percent of women) and mixed UI (MUI; 34 percent).

The researchers found that based on an average of 2.5 procedures for each woman (separated by a two-month period), the Incontinence Severity Index scores decreased significantly from pretreatment levels for all severities (P < 0.001). Overall, more than three-quarters of patients diagnosed with SUI (77 percent) experienced significant improvement after laser treatment, while 34 percent of women with MUI showed no UI after one year of follow-up. Outcomes were not affected by age. No major adverse effects were reported.

"The results of our study have shown that new noninvasive Er:YAG laser could be regarded as a promising additional treatment strategy for SUI, with at least one year [of] lasting positive effects," the authors write. "On the other hand, it does not seem appropriate for treating MUI."

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