ATOMS – Treatment for Male SUI

adjustable implants

The ATOMS Device

ATOMS stands for Adjustable – Transobturator – Male - System. The ATOMS is a hydraulically adjustable implant for treating stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in males.

The ATOMS helps men achieve continence by applying pressure evenly across the bulbar urethra. This pressure not only operates as a substitute urinary sphincter, but also assists with the natural function of the male pelvic floor. Therefore, where a male’s urinary sphincter is still functional, the ATOMS assists with achieving continence without removing the ability to voluntarily urinate.

Unlike other implants designed to treat male SUI, the ATOMS is adjustable post-operatively without requiring revisionary surgery. Adjustability has a number of benefits:

  • Where a patient is not continent post-operatively, the implant can be adjusted to achieve continence.
  • Where a patient is in retention (unable to urinate) post-operatively, the implant can be adjusted without surgical intervention to allow for urination.
  • Where a patient may require future surgical interventions - for example, cystoscopy or stricture treatment - the implant can be adjusted to allow for easy access to the urinary anatomy reducing any risk of damage to anatomy or the implant.
  • Long term, ATOMS can continually be adjusted to achieve continence, where other implants often require surgical revision. Adjustability of the implant reduces the risk of requiring surgical revision.

Long-term clinical studies on the ATOMS show high patient satisfaction at 7 years follow-up after the procedure.6

Even though the ATOMS is suitable for many men suffering from SUI, it is not effective in all patients as results will depend on the individual’s medical history. If you are interested in the device, please contact your medical specialist or one of the specialists listed here.

The Procedure

Implantation of the ATOMS is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that typically takes 30 to 60 minutes. It is carried out under a general or spinal anaesthetic. The implant is inserted through a small, perineal incision located below the scrotum. The central cushion is positioned directly under the bulbar urethra.

A port made of titanium and silicone is positioned within the scrotum. This port is located in the scrotum for easy location and access to the implant if adjustment is required at a later date.

Adjusting the ATOMS

Three to four weeks after implantation the ATOMS can be adjusted depending on your level of continence. A specialist injects saline into the implant via the scrotal port. The fluid travels through the catheter to fill the cushion lying under the urethra. As the cushion fills, the pressure on the urethra increases improving the likelihood of achieving continence.

As adjustment of the ATOMS is straight forward. Adjustment can be made at any time, even years after initial implantation without surgical intervention.

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atoms adjustment

Benefits

  • Adjustability: ATOMS is adjustable continuously over the long term. This greatly reduces the likelihood that revisionary surgery will be required to maintain continence.
  • Suitable for a wide range of patients: The ATOMS can be adjusted to the individual needs of each patient, including patients which experience high volume leakage. Whilst it is not possible for all patients to be ‘dry’ the ATOMS implant may significantly improve the volume of leakage without the patient requiring an artificial urinary sphincter.
  • Void urine normally: The ATOMS does not require the operation of any mechanical components to void urine. Mechanical operation of a pump is required to void urine with an Artificial Urinary Sphincter.
  • Secure anchoring: The ATOMS is firmly self-anchored and attached by the mesh arms, ensuring the system will not move.

Did you know? Treatment with ATOMS is covered by most private health insurers. Consultation with a specialist and admission to a private hospital may incur out-of-pocket expenses, but the cost of the implant itself is completely covered by private health insurance.

Things to Consider

What are the risks associated with ATOMS?

Treatment of male SUI with the ATOMS requires surgical intervention and the implantation of a prosthetic device. As such, this treatment carries the medical risks associated with admission to a hospital for a surgical procedure.

It is important that the risks of this procedure are discussed with your specialist, and that the suitability of this treatment is considered in conjunction with your individual medical condition.

What side effects can be expected?

ATOMS consists of components made primarily of silicone and titanium compatible with the body. However, as with any implant, there is always the risk of infection. Should this occur, it is necessary to remove the system. More common side effects are perineal pain, which may continue for more than two weeks, and numbness or increased sensitivity around the scrotum and groin.

What types of physical activity should I avoid?

It is advisable to refrain from doing sports such as horseback and bike riding, which place added pressure on the implant (in some cases a special bike seat may help). Apart from this, there are no other physical restrictions and you can resume your usual lifestyle after the wounds have healed.

Is this treatment covered by health insurance?

Treatment with surgical implants such as the ATOMS may be covered by private health insurance. Consultation with a specialist and admission to a private hospital may incur out-of-pocket expenses. In most cases the cost of the implant will be covered by private health insurance, however this will need to be discussed with your consulting specialist and with your health insurer.

Can I have X-rays or an MRI scan with the system in place?

Yes. The titanium port is not magnetic, which means that any type of medical imaging examination (X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound) can be carried out safely. However please mention it to staff before any such examination.

testimonials

H. Gottwald – Austria

“ After undergoing a radical prostatectomy, I was incontinent and needed between 15- 20 pads per day. After 2 years, I was still using 5-6 pads per day and a further reduction was simply not possible. Just under 4 years ago, I had an ATOMS implanted and I was completely dry after surgery. This day changed my life. I wouldn’t want to be without the ATOMS anymore. ”

J. Kostrouch – Austria

“ Exactly one year ago, I received an ATOMS and it’s still working like it did on the first day. I can do sport and go hiking again, and I feel very comfortable. ”

Peter John

“ In January 2009, I had surgery for a total removal of my prostate. The result of that was severe urinary incontinence with a complete loss of quality of life: Sporting, cultural, and many other everyday activities were only possible with extreme limitations. Conservative treatments such as pelvic floor training and electrostimulation, were unsuccessful. In March 2010, I was saved from this seemingly hopeless situation by getting an ATOMS implant. With it, I regained my previous quality of life. Now I can do everything that had previously been important to me: Skiing, hiking, playing tennis, travelling, going to the theatre and opera. Thanks to ATOMS, life is worth living again. ”

F. Pauschenwein – Austria

“ In December 2003 I underwent a radical prostatectomy. In January 2005, I received an implant which constantly caused inflammation. I had to have it removed again completely. My last hope was to undergo an ATOMS implantation in December 2012. Since then, my life is worth living again, because I can participate in everyday life with no more problems whatsoever. ”

What Next?

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