Urethral Sling

No more pads… This revolutionary procedure restores bladder control for women who lose urine when they cough or exercise. A thin mesh ribbon lifts the bladder neck to a normal position during this 15-minute procedure. Over 85% of women report significant improvement, regaining bladder control and freedom to enjoy their active lives.

The first time you leaked when you laughed or sneezed, you probably were surprised and didn’t think much about it. Those things happen, right? But when this occurred more frequently with exercise, picking up something heavy, or coughing resulted in urinary leakage, you probably reacted the way most practical women do. You began wearing sanitary napkins, dark clothing — anything that would help you hide what was becoming embarrassing, and you may have accepted as a normal part of getting older.

Guess what — it’s not normal and it’s called stress urinary incontinence (SUI), when involuntary loss of urine occurs during sudden movements that put pressure on the bladder. 1 in 6 women suffer from SUI and many recall that it began after childbirth.

While Kegel exercises should be attempted first, unfortunately they often fail for more advanced SUI. If a woman has finished having children, a minimally invasive treatment can fix SUI, allowing her to return to a full and active life. A urethral sling can stop urine leakage by supporting your urethra with a tape-like strip of mesh. This outpatient procedure has shown excellent results for the treatment of SUI. A clinical study demonstrated that even 7 years after treatment, 81% of women who underwent a TVT urethral sling were cured and an additional 16% were improved. To date, more than 1.5 million patients worldwide have been treated.

During this outpatient procedure, the doctor inserts a strip of mesh-like tape through a ½ inch vaginal incision under the urethra to create a supportive sling. This reestablishes support and allows the urethra to remain closed when appropriate, preventing urine loss during sudden movements or exercise. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes—and can be performed under local, regional or general anesthesia.

Patients treated with a urethral sling go home a few hours after the procedure and can expect a short recovery period, returning to most activities in a few days. During this time, there should be little interference with daily activities; however, you should avoid heavy lifting and intercourse for 4 weeks.

Unfortunately many doctors are too busy or just not interested in incontinence — not at Women’s Health Specialists. We have several doctors who have special interest in helping you become empowered to not only regain bladder control, but also your dignity.

There is no controversy (nor FDA warning) regarding the use of prolene mesh implants as urethral slings, which have become the gold standard for surgical correction of stress urinary incontinence with over 15 years in clinical use.