What’s a Sphincterotomy & How Does It Work?
What is a sphincterotomy and how does it work? Will it stop the pain I'm experiencing from interstitial cystitis (IC)?
A sphincterotomy or bladder outlet surgery involves a small scope being inserted into the urethra to reveal the bottom of the bladder. The urologist then makes cuts on the muscular valve surrounding the urethra in order to relax the passageway so that urine can flow through without obstruction when the bladder contracts. An unobstructed bladder could help alleviate pain or pressure experienced from a full bladder, thought it is not directly connected to interstitial cystitis nor will it treat IC unless there is some element of bladder outlet blockage.
There is no single universal treatment for IC, and also, seeing as how a sphincterotomy is one of the last lines of defense for obstructed bladder sufferers, the two aren’t closely related.
Dr. Jennifer Berman, urologist and recurring co-host on “The Doctors,” has joined Depend.com to provide her insights into bladder leaks and related issues. She’ll be answering your questions here in our forums. If you have a question, please submit it in the comments and watch for the answer here in the next few weeks.