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Artificial Urinary Sphincter

For other men who have tried other therapies for stress incontinence unsuccessfully, artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) is a surgical option that has helped many men stay continent and dry.

What is an Artificial Urinary Sphincter?

The artificial urinary sphincter is an implantable device equipped with an inflatable cuff that fits around the urethra. This cuff replaces the natural sphincter that has been compromised by removal of the prostate and prevents urine leakage associated with stress urinary incontinence. The patient can control the opening and closing of the urethra through a small pump that is implanted in the scrotum. The cuff is fully inflated and closed at rest, allowing for storage of urine in the bladder and prevent urine leakage. When the pump is activated, it opens the cuff around the urethra and urine is emptied from the bladder.

Surgical placement of an artificial urinary sphincter is typically reserved for men who have failed other treatments for stress urinary incontinence. Your doctor can discuss the benefits and risks of the surgery with you to help you make the most informed decision.

How Does the Artificial Urinary Sphincter Work?

To keep urine from leaking, the cuff inflates automatically to keep the urethra closed. When the patient needs to urinate, he activates the pump to deflate the cuff to allow urine to flow out.

After urinating, the fluid within the system flows from the balloon back to the cuff automatically. No additional maneuver is required for the patient.


For most patients, the life of the artificial urinary sphincter device is greater than 10 years. Success rates are very good when performed by an experienced surgeon.


It’s important to discuss the risks of surgery with your doctor. Any implanted device or a foreign object such as the artificial urinary sphincter can carry potential risks including infection and erosion into the urethra.

Who is a Candidate?

For a man to be an ideal candidate for the artificial urinary sphincter implant, he should:

  • Have no bladder infection
  • Have no neurologic conditions that affect bladder function
  • Have failed all other therapies for stress incontinence