Incontinence is still one of society's major taboo issues. More and more people are suffering because the population is getting older. Comprehensive incontinence treatment includes not only the actual therapy but also consultation with an interdisciplinary team of urogynecologists, urologists, coloproctologists and neurologists. In addition, there are physiotherapists and nutrition and sexual advisors. Continence centers working according to these guidelines can be identified by their certification, e.g. by the German Continence Society (Deutsche Kontinenz Gesellschaft e. V.).
In the case of incontinence, a distinction is primarily made between two forms, stool incontinence and urinary incontinence. In some cases, incontinence is the result of surgery, e.g. for the treatment of prostate cancer, bowel cancer or similar, in other cases it occurs naturally as a result of pelvic floor weakness or sphincter muscle weakness.
Depending on the degree of severity, conservative therapy using physiotherapy and nutritional medicine will first be attempted at the pelvic floor center. However, surgical treatments are also offered in an interdisciplinary pelvic floor center. Wherever possible, experts in incontinence treatment always make use of minimally invasive surgical techniques.
A special focus of every certified pelvic floor center is also the detailed continence counselling of the patients. During consultation hours, therapy options, including indications for surgery and subsequent procedures, are discussed with the patients and a decision is made. Only when all questions have been clarified by the patients will an appointment for surgery, if necessary, be made.
It is quite common, in order to create a certain basis of trust, that the specialist of the pelvic floor center who carried out the consultation also accompanies the respective patients through the operation.
The follow-up usually takes place in an outpatient setting, about two to three months after the operation. In the subsequent therapy discussion, patients are again given the opportunity to talk about their "feeling" regarding the results of the operation. In some cases further follow-up therapies will be necessary. Follow-up checks should be offered in all certified continence centers, as they represent an important means of quality assurance.
It is also important that the pelvic floor center has experience with the treatment of relapses. This means that the specialists there are familiar with recurring symptoms of urinary or stool incontinence and can carry out follow-up operations with a high success factor.
Pelvic floor diseases, pelvic floor weakness and incontinence affect many medical disciplines, ranging from gynaecology to urology and proctology. In addition, nutritionists, neurologists, surgeons and physiotherapists belong to an interdisciplinary pelvic floor team.
Certification established by the German Continence Society guarantees that specially designated pelvic floor centers and incontinence counselling centers meet the high scientific requirements of this multidisciplinary field. The certification is therefore to be understood as a contribution to quality control in patient care in the field of urinary and stool incontinence. Patients are recognized here in their individuality and a therapy decision is only made and implemented together with them.
At the same time, the seal ensures that the specialists at the pelvic floor center have sufficient qualifications, experience and scientific expertise to guarantee the conditions necessary for high-quality treatment.
Within a pelvic floor and incontinence center, the subject of incontinence is removed from the taboo area and adequately dealt with by a multidisciplinary team in order to achieve or maintain the best possible quality of life for patients in their situation.
- Deutsche Kontinenz Gesellschaft e.V.