Coaptite is a gel-like substance that is used as a bulking agent. It is injected around the sphincter where the urethra and bladder meet. Sphincter muscles control the release of urine from the bladder. The substance supports the urethra, decreasing incontinence.
Reasons for Procedure
This procedure is for women who have stress urinary incontinence. This is the leakage of urine caused by weakening of the muscles around the bladder and pelvis.
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Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Trouble passing urine due to urethra swelling
- Blood in urine
- Painful urination
- Urinary tract infection
- Feeling the urge to urinate
- Frequent urination
- Continued incontinence
- Damage to the urethra
- Reaction to anesthesia
You should avoid this procedure if you have a history of:
- Urinary tract infections
- Current irritation of your bladder or urethra
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the injection.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam, blood and urine tests, and imaging tests
- Discuss with you the type of anesthesia that will be used and the potential risks
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
Other things to keep in mind before the procedure:
- Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
- If instructed by your doctor, do not eat or drink for 8 hours before the procedure.
Description of Procedure
An IV may be placed in your arm. It will deliver fluids and medications directly into your bloodstream. A special jelly or fluid may be placed into your urethra to numb the area. If you are having spinal anesthesia, it will be injected into the spine. General anesthesia will be given through an IV.
A tiny camera will be inserted into your urethra. This will allow the doctor to see the bladder. The coaptite substance will be passed through the scope. It will be injected into the urethra wall near the bladder. The procedure will be repeated on the other side of the urethra. The gel will create a bulge just under the bladder.
Immediately After Procedure
You will be monitored as the anesthesia wears off.
How Long Will It Take?
The procedure usually takes 15-30 minutes.
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Ask your doctor about medication to help with pain after the injection.
At the Care Center
After the procedure, the hospital staff may provide the following care:
- Monitor you while you recover from the anesthesia and/or sedation
- Help you to eat and move around again
- Give you pain medication
You will not need to stay overnight.
You will need to avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting. Do not return to sexual activity until your doctor clears you.
Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
- Increased pressure or pain
- Inability to urinate
- Changes in frequency, odor, appearance, or volume of urine
- Signs of infection, including fever or chills
- Blood in urine
- Painful urination or a burning sensation
- Leaking urine
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Products and medical procedures. US Food & Drug Administration website. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/default.htm. Updated August 4, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Urinary incontinence. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/urinary-incontinence. Updated April 2014. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Urinary incontinence. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/urinary-incontinence?article=143. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Urinary incontinence in men. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900624/Urinary-incontinence-in-men. Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Urinary incontinence in women. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900573/Urinary-incontinence-in-women. Updated November 1, 2017. Accessed December 18, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 12/20/2014