Urethral atrophy after artificial urinary sphincter placement: Is cuff downsizing effective?

A Saffarian*, K Walsh, IK Walsh, AR Stone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We reviewed the outcome of cuff downsizing with an artificial urinary sphincter for treating recurrent incontinence due to urethral atrophy.

Materials and Methods: We analyzed the records of 17 patients in a 7-year period in whom clinical, radiological and urodynamic evidence of urethral atrophy was treated with cuff downsizing. Cuff downsizing was accomplished by removing the existing cuff and replacing it with a 4 cm. cuff within the established false capsule. Incontinence and satisfaction parameters before and after the procedure were assessed by a validated questionnaire.

Results: Mean patient age was 70 years (range 62 to 79). Average time to urethral atrophy was 31 months (range 5 to 96) after primary sphincter implantation. Mean followup after downsizing was 22 months (range 1 to 64). Cuff downsizing caused a mean decrease of 3.9 to 0.5 pads daily. The number of severe leakage episodes decreased from a mean of 5.4 to 2.1 The mean SEAPI (stress leakage, emptying, anatomy, protection, inhibition) score decreased from 8.2 to 2.4. Patient satisfaction increased from 15% to 80% after cuff downsizing. In 1 patient an infected cuff required complete removal of the device.

Conclusions: Patient satisfaction and continence parameters improved after cuff downsizing. We believe that this technique is a simple and effective method of restoring continence after urethral atrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-569
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003


  • urethra
  • questionnaires
  • urinary sphincter, artificial
  • atrophy


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