Bulkamid Hydrogel is a transparent polyacrylamide gel. It does not migrate and is not broken down in the body. There are no allergies. It has been used in plastic surgery and to make contact lenses for over 10 years.
How Is It Injected?
A telescope is inserted into the urethra (the tube from the bladder). Using this telescope, a needle is inserted into the lining of the urethra, just below the bladder. First local anesthetic is injected and then the Bulkamid. This narrows the urethra, reducing urine leakage. It can be performed under local or general anesthesia or sedation and takes about 10 minutes.
How Many Injection Sessions Are Needed?
It usually takes an average of 1-2 treatments in women and 4 in men to achieve the best results. After the first injection, it is not uncommon for initial improvement to wear off and some incontinence to return. Three months is required between each injection session if more than one treatment is required.
How Long Does It Take?
The procedure takes about 10 minutes, but you will usually be asked to arrive about one hour prior to allow for your hospital admission and preparation time. You will then be asked to stay after the procedure until you have passed a good volume of urine. Allow at least 3-4 hours in total at the hospital.
Is Preparation Required?
No special preparation is required before arrival. You do not need to fast unless you have sedation or general anesthesia. On arrival, you will be asked to empty your bladder before the procedure, and you will be given a dose of an antibiotic to minimize the risk of a urine infection. The genital region will be washed with an antiseptic then a local anesthetic lubricating jelly will be applied to make the passage of the telescope more comfortable.
What Can I Expect Afterwards?
The first few times you pass your urine after the procedure, you may see a small amount of blood, and you may experience a burning sensation. These symptoms are short-lived and usually resolve within 24 hours. A small proportion of the Bulkamid can escape from the injection site and be passed into the urine as a clear gel. After the procedure, you must stay in the hospital until you have passed urine, usually 2-3 hours. After assessing the effects of the first injection session, a second session may be arranged. This is performed after three months to allow the first lot of Bulkamid to become incorporated into your tissues. Earlier second injections can result in some of the first lot leaking out.