Research carried out at the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center in 2005 found that injections of collagen into the urinary muscles (the sphincter) can help men who have incontinence problems following treatment for some prostate conditions.
The research, published in the The Journal of Urology, evaluated the long-term results and complications of collagen injections for men with problems controlling their urine output. 307 of the men had treatment for prostate cancer and 15 had treatment for a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
The average age of the men overgoing treatment with collagen was 67 years, all of who had problems with the urinary sphincter muscle. The subjects were followed up over a period of about 40 months.
Collagen, a protein found in our skin, bones and other connective tissues, plumps up and strengthens this muscle. Collagen gets absorbed back into the body so this treatment does have to be readministered. Most men received an average of 3 to 4 injections. The study found that the average response time was just over 6 months. Some of the men who responded very well and achieved compleat continence had a response time of nearly one year.
Research conclusions of collagen injections for male urinary incontinence
The research team's conclusions were;
- Collagen treatment is a good alternative to surgical interventions for male urinary incontinence say the research doctors.
- Collagen treatment is a good short term therapy for men after a prostatectomy.
- The collagen treatment worked best in men who had had a radical prostatectomy. They responded best of all groups and achieved continence in many cases.
- The research team found the treatment outcome was not dictated by the severity of the incontinence problem.
- Collagen treatment is unsuitable for patients who have undergone radiation or cryotherapy treatments because of the resultant tissue damage to the urethra.
Side effects of collagen injections
Side effects were experienced by five patients who complained of increased urinary leakage.
Transurethral Collagen Injections for Male Intrinsic Sphincter Deficiency: University of Texas Houston Experience
WESTNEY, O LENAINE, BEVAN-THOMAS, RICHARD; PALMER, J LYNN; CESPEDES, R DUANE; McGUIRE, EDWARD J. [S]
Journal of Urology. 174(3):994-997, September 2005.