Sinai Health gets Sudbury woman back on the pickleball court

Just as Isabelle* was about to turn 60, the Sudbury mother and retiree was eager to make a change.

For nearly 15 years she had been coping with bladder issues. What initially started as a minor issue after she gave birth to her first child, turned into something downright intolerable by the time she was 55-years-old.

She found that any minor movement would cause substantial bladder leakage: a cough or a sneeze would easily fill up a pad. It made travelling and playing her favourite sport, pickleball, very uncomfortable.

“It just got to a point where I was fed up,” Isabelle said. “When you have to start rationing yourself from water just to limit the bladder leakage, it’s a sign that something has to change. And if I get dehydrated and I get dizzy, so I thought, ‘What’s lesser of the two evils?’ That’s when I met Dr. McDermott at Sinai Health.”

“It just got to a point where I was fed up...”

Dr. Colleen McDermott is an urogynecologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Urogynecology is a specialized field of gynecology and obstetrics that deals with female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.

“Dr. McDermott was phenomenal,” said Isabelle. “She was very straight to the point, someone who took a no non-sense approach about the options that I had.”

Isabelle was diagnosed with both incontinence and an overactive bladder and offered a form of special surgery using strips of synthetic mesh to create a sling or "hammock" under the tube that carries urine from the bladder. The sling supports the urethra and helps keep it closed — especially when you cough or sneeze — so that you don't leak urine.

A week before her 60th birthday, Isabelle had a sling installed. She says she noticed a difference right away.

“I had lived my life around finding a washroom and what’s the quality in life there?” Isabelle said. “Today, my life is completely different. I can travel, I can sneeze, I can cough, and best of all, I can play pickleball. I am so pleased with the outcome I would recommend Sinai Health to anyone.”

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