Coaptite is a gel-like substance that is used as a bulking agent. It is injected around the sphincter where the urethra and bladder meet. Sphincter muscles control the release of urine from the bladder. The substance supports the urethra, decreasing incontinence.
Reasons for Procedure
This procedure is for women who have stress urinary incontinence. This is the leakage of urine caused by weakening of the muscles around the bladder and pelvis.
Muscles Involved in Incontinence in Women
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If you are planning to have a coaptite injection, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:
- Trouble passing urine due to urethra swelling
- Blood in urine
- Painful urination
- Urinary tract infection
- Feeling the urge to urinate
- Frequent urination
- Continued incontinence
- Damage to the urethra
- Reaction to anesthesia
You should avoid this procedure if you have a history of:
- Urinary tract infections
- Current irritation of your bladder or urethra
- The wall of your urethra being easily damaged
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the injection.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam, blood and urine tests, and imaging tests
- Discuss with you the type of anesthesia that will be used and the potential risks
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
Other things to keep in mind before the procedure:
- Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
- If instructed by your doctor, do not eat or drink for eight hours before the procedure.
Description of Procedure
An IV will be placed in your arm . It will deliver fluids and medications directly into your bloodstream. A special jelly or fluid may be placed into your urethra to numb the area. If you are having spinal anesthesia, it will be injected into the spine. General anesthesia will be given through an IV.
A tiny camera will be inserted into your urethra. This will allow the doctor to see the bladder. The coaptite substance will be passed through the scope. It will be injected into the urethra wall near the bladder. The procedure will be repeated on the other side of the urethra. The gel will create a bulge just under the bladder.
Immediately After Procedure
You will be monitored as the anesthesia wears off..
How Long Will It Take?
The procedure usually takes 15-30 minutes.
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. Ask your doctor about medication to help with pain after the injection.
At the Care Center
After the procedure, the hospital staff may provide the following care:
- Monitor you while you recover from the anesthesia and/or sedation
- Help you to eat and move around again
- Give you pain medication
You will not need to stay overnight.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Avoid difficult activity and heavy lifting.
- Do not have sex until your doctor says it is safe to do so.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
After arriving home, contact your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Increased pressure or pain
- Not able to urinate
- Changes in frequency, odor, appearance, or volume of urine
- Signs of infection, including fever or chills
- Blood in urine
- Painful urination or a burning sensation
- Leaking urine
In case of an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases http://www2.niddk.nih.gov
Updated September 4, 2013. Accessed October 27, 2014.
Incontinence. American Association of Family Physicians website. Available at:
Updated April 2014. Accessed October 27, 2014.
Incontinence. American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at:
Updated March 2013. Accessed October 27, 2014.
Last Updated: 12/20/2014