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Bladder Problems

Bladder problems affect the lives — and lifestyles — of thousands of men and women.

Washington University bladder specialists at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital treat everything from stress incontinence to bladder cancer.

Why Choose Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital for Bladder Problems? 

Whether you’re suffering from incontinence or have recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer, the physicians at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital can help. Patients come to us because we offer:

  • Nonsurgical alternatives: We believe in beginning with the most noninvasive treatment possible for appropriate patients. Nonsurgical alternatives available at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital include oral medication and Botox® injections for overactive bladder.
  • Surgical expertise: Our physicians perform hundreds of operations each year, including robotic-assisted and minimally invasive surgeries. Surgical treatments for bladder conditions include:
    • Placement of a neuromodulator (essentially, a pacemaker for an overactive bladder) in the upper buttocks
    • Artificial urinary sphincter surgery, a procedure that restores urinary control to men who suffer from incontinence after removal of their prostate
  • Easy access to Siteman Cancer Center: Siteman West County, a satellite clinic of Siteman Cancer Center, is located at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. Patients with bladder cancer can receive top treatment close to home, and have access to all of the clinical trials and clinical expertise available through Siteman. 
  • Compassionate, comprehensive care: We know that bladder problems can affect every aspect of your life, and we know that talking about it can be uncomfortable. That’s why we listen carefully, provide a full range of treatment options and answer questions in simple, easy-to-understand language.

Bladder Conditions We Treat

We provide comprehensive care for most bladder conditions, including:

  • Male incontinence
  • Female incontinence
  • Overactive bladder
  • Bladder cancer

Diagnosis of Bladder Conditions

A proper diagnosis is the first step toward effective treatment. Depending on your symptoms, your physician may order a number of tests, including:

  • Urine test: We may ask for a sample of your urine, which we will send to our laboratory services for analysis.
  • X-ray: X-rays can help us see your kidney, bladder and urethra to pinpoint problems. Sometimes, we administer a special dye first; the dye highlights the areas we need to evaluate.
  • Ultrasound: We often use ultrasound to check how much urine is in your bladder. We may use ultrasound to check your bladder both before and after you go to the bathroom.
  • Cystoscopy: A cystoscope is a thin, lighted tube that allows us to look directly into your bladder. You will receive medication to make you more comfortable during the examination. 

Incontinence Treatment at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital

Incontinence can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Treatment can restore your confidence and quality of life.

Medical and surgical incontinence treatments available at Barnes-Jewish West Country Hospital include:

  • Lifestyle modification: Sometimes a simple dietary change or other lifestyle adjustment can effectively treat mild cases of incontinence. Our physicians can suggest helpful modifications.
  • Behavioral and physical therapy: Pelvic floor exercises may strengthen the pelvic muscles and improve urinary control. Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital offers special therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction.
  • Oral medication: Many different prescription medications can be used to treat incontinence. Our physicians tailor treatment to individual patient needs.
  • Botox injections: Botox® injections can soothe forehead wrinkles — and overactive bladders. Our urologists can inject Botox® directly into the bladder, giving patients months of relief from incontinence. Injections can be repeated as necessary.
  • Tension-free vaginal tape surgery: This minimally invasive surgery is 80 percent to 90 percent effective at treating female stress incontinence.
  • Neuromodulation: Implantable neuromodulators act like pacemakers for the bladder and are placed in the upper buttocks. Washington University physicians use these devices to help patients with urge incontinence who have not found relief with other treatments.
  • Artificial urinary sphincters: Men who have their prostates removed may suffer from incontinence. This specialized surgical procedure uses a hydraulic pump and balloon to restore urinary control.

Bladder Cancer Treatment at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital

Whenever possible, we seek to preserve the bladder while also successfully treating the cancer.

Patients with bladder cancer can undergo surgery and receive radiation, chemotherapy and other specialized cancer treatments at Siteman West County, a satellite clinic of Siteman Cancer Center. Washington University physicians from the Siteman Cancer Center create patient-centered care plans that incorporate the latest medical advances, including:

  • New anti-cancer medications that can be placed directly in the bladder
  • If needed, sophisticated bladder-removal surgeries that are designed to spare nerves and preserve function, whenever possible
  • Artificial bladders, or neobladders, created from intestinal tissue

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a urologist, call Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital at 314.542.WEST (9378) or toll-free at 844.542.9378.

Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is conveniently located just one mile west of I-270 in Creve Coeur, Missouri — a west county suburb of St. Louis.

The Washington University Urologic Surgery office is located in Medical Office Building 1, Suite 122. The address is 1040 North Mason Road, at the corner of North Mason and Olive Boulevard. Get directions and maps.

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Find a doctor or make an appointment: 314.542.WEST (9378) OR TOLL-FREE 1.844.542.9378
General Information: (314) 996.8000
12634 Olive Boulevard
Creve Coeur, Missouri 63141
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