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The treatment of incontinence has involved numerous devices, some of them effective, some not.  Centuries ago, patients suffering from urinary incontinence wore bags to catch leaking urine, as shown in this Middle Ages woodcut.

Nearly two centuries later, in 1947, Minneapolis urologist Frederick E.B. Foley introduced the first artificial sphincter. Patients controlled the artificial sphincter by compressing a pocket device to inflate a pneumatic cuff positioned around surgically segmented portions of the urethra to control the flow of urine.

In 1961, a Veterans Administration urologist in Albany, NY, John Berry, became the first to restore continence by compressing the urethra with implanted acrylic and SilasticÂȘ blocks. While early results were encouraging, these devices proved disappointing because they shifted out of place and eroded into the urethra. In 1978, Joseph J. Kaufman, of the University of California, Los Angeles, introduced an implantable silicone-gel "pillow" to cause urethral resistance, based on earlier versions.

But implanted artificial sphincters, the surgical brainchild of Baylor College of Medicine's F. Brantley Scott, soon surpassed the prosthesis. First introduced in 1973, this device would become a viable solution for post-prostatectomy patients suffering from incontinence. Today's model works by keeping the urethra closed until necessary. To empty the bladder, the patient squeezes and releases a scrotum pump, which empties fluid from a sphincter cuff (positioned around the

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