A penile clamp, known also as a Cunningham clamp, is worn externally to control incontinence in men after prostate cancer treatment. Although this method of treatment does not provide a cure, it does help patients manage urine leakage.
The clamp consists of a V-shaped casing with a foam cushion that fits over the penis. The device stops leakage by placing a clamp over the penis and applying external pressure on the urethra.
Penile clamps can be safe and effective when used as prescribed. They should be fitted only by a trained health professional and must be checked regularly. The device can cause skin and tissue problems, scarring, penile edema, pain, and obstruction if the clamp is fitted too tightly or worn for too long a time. Doctors generally recommend that the clamp be released every two hours to empty the bladder and prevent damage.
The clamps are relatively inexpensive and can usually be obtained from a patient’s urologist. For some men the penile clamp can provide a discreet way of controlling incontinence without the need for a collection bag, but it is not necessarily suitable for everyone. If patients cannot adhere to the strict schedule and proper fitting than they may not be appropriate candidates and should consult their physician for alternative treatments.