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Surgery for incontinence restores the normal anatomic position or support of the bladder neck and urethra. There are two main types of surgical operations for urinary incontinence: bladder neck suspension procedures and sling procedures. Within the medical community, the comparative effectiveness of these different surgeries is still being debated, and it is important that the decision be based on each woman's individual circumstances. If you are considering surgery, talk to your provider about these factors.

  • Bladder Neck Suspension Procedures involve placing sutures (small stitches) between the ligaments and tendons that support the pelvic organs and then tying them to the pubic bone to stabilize the bladder and urethra. These procedures are usually performed through an incision in the stomach. Abdominal surgery recovery time is shorter and other pelvic support problems (prolapsed organs) can be corrected at the same time.
  • Pubovaginal Sling Procedures use a piece of strong connective tissue from another part of the body (typically from the abdomen) to create a supporting "hammock" underneath the urethra and bladder neck.

A newer surgical option for treating stress incontinence is called:

  • Tension-free Sling for Incontinence. This is a minimally invasive procedure for women with stress urinary incontinence. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and takes only about half an hour to complete. Patients who undergo treatment have a very short recovery period and experience minimal scarring after surgery.




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Last updated: 09/09/09
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