Continence Center

Our Services

Incontinence is a condition that causes loss of bladder or bowel control and is much more common than most of us realize. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians says more than 13 million men and women of all ages in the U.S. live with the condition. Because of the embarrassment and stigma associated with it, most people avoid talking about the condition, even to their doctor, with two-thirds of people waiting two or more years before seeking help.

The expert staff of the Continence Center at Grace Health System® understands the personal discomfort and embarrassment associated with incontinence and provides compassionate care and non-surgical solutions; most people don’t have to live with this very treatable condition.

There are four main types of incontinence treated at the Continence Center. Stress incontinence occurs when pressure is applied to the bladder through exercise, sneezing, coughing, or heavy lifting. This is the most common type of incontinence and can most often be treated. Urge incontinence is urination that comes on quickly, causing leakage. Overflow incontinence is caused by an overfilled bladder; and functional incontinence occurs when circumstances beyond your control limit your ability to reach the bathroom in time. Transient, or temporary incontinence can be triggered by infections, medications, or bowel problems.

The Continence Center is the only place in the region where you can find experts who are board-certified in biofeedback and pelvic muscle dysfunction. These specialist providers are committed to proper diagnosis and treatment of underlying gynecological and urological disorders that may be causing your problem. The entire Continence Center team is committed to do all they can to help you Take Control.

To discover underlying medical issues, our Continence Center specialists will provide a comprehensive initial evaluation. This includes discussing current urinary issues, including frequency of urination and how you currently control urges. Pelvic examinations are performed to check for tissue abnormalities like tumors or growths, possible stool impaction, poor reflexes or a sagging bladder. We’ll also conduct urinalysis testing to check for infection, sugar or blood in the urine, and a stress test may be done to determine if urine is released from coughing.

Imaging studies including ultrasound or x-rays can be performed in the Imaging Center at Grace, to facilitate a more in-depth examination of the kidneys, bladder and other areas of the urinary tract for abnormalities.

The Continence Center uses a special technique called Urodynamics to diagnose underlying incontinence issues and provide treatment that strengthens the pelvic muscles used to control the bladder. There are several components to Urodynamic assessment, evaluation and treatment that are customized to the individual’s needs.

Once you receive an appropriate diagnosis, your treatment may employ various therapies, exercises, and medications before investigation of surgical intervention. Depending on the type or causes of incontinence, there are several non-invasive treatment options available.

Electrical stimulation can be used to strengthen muscles in your lower pelvis, biofeedback strengthens the pelvic muscles in your lower pelvis with minimal side effects.  Keeping a diary can help you identify urination cycles, which timed voiding might help.   Two minimally invasive therapies for women entail fitting of pessaries,  which are firm rings that are placed in the vagina that put pressure on the urethra to help control stress leakage, and collagen implants can be injected into urethral tissues to help control leakage.

If these minimally or non-invasive procedures prove to be ineffective, your provider may ask you to consider to a surgical procedure. Several procedures like sling surgery, and artificial sphincter surgery have proven to be highly successful in treating long-term incontinence issues.

The Continence Center team looks forward to providing effective, permanent solutions and restoration of personal dignity.

Patient focused, comprehensive care…the Continence Center at Grace Health System®.

Continence Center Medical Staff

Dr. Duncan Burkholder

Duncan Burkholder, MD

Dr. Obie Stalcup

Obie Stalcup, MD

Treva Thomasson

Treva Thomasson, RN, CURN, BCB­PMD

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