Factors that increase the likelihood of developing urinary stress incontinence include:
- previous pregnancy with vaginal delivery
- chronic coughing
- heavy lifting
- frequent straining
- increased urine output with excess fluid intake or taking “water pills”
- primary urinary tract problems including infection and tumor (bladder tumors are unusual)
- certain medications you may be taking
- estrogen (hormonal) deficiency
- immobility such as with arthritis
Suburethral Sling Surgery
The suburethral sling may be performed under spinal, epidural, or general anesthesia – but usually with you asleep. You will be placed in a position similar to that for a pelvic examination, and a small (3/4″) incision is made in the anterior vaginal wall just below the mid-urethra (the urethra is the tube leading out from the bladder). A special tape (prolene mesh) is looped under the urethra. The two ends of the tape are anchored into the back of the pubic bone. The tape is now “U”-shaped, supporting the urethra. The small incision are closed. Other surgical procedures, if appropriate, may be performed at the same time as the sling. This show a photo of the sling Dr. Biggerstaff uses.
The advantages of the suburethral sling over some other procedures in treating urinary incontinence may include shorter operating time, quicker recovery time, and better long-term results.
The likelihood of success of the sling support procedure is reported to be 80-90% in most cases.
As with other surgical procedures to treat urinary incontinence, non-surgical alternatives may include:
- lifestyle modification: quit smoking, lose weight, allergy treatment
- Kegel’s exercise: regular contraction of the muscles that allow you to stop urine in mid-stream may reduce or eliminate incontinence
- pessary use: usually a donut-shaped rubber or plastic device inserted into the vagina to support the bladder
- hormonal (estrogen) replacement therapy
- treatment with medication helps certain types of incontinence
Other surgical procedures such as the laparoscopic Burch procedure may treat urinary incontinence depending on the specific situation. Many times using a combination of several forms of treatment results in the best treatment for incontinence. These might include the non-surgical alternatives, plus the sling, plus an anterior repair.
The information provided by Advanced Healthcare for Women and E. Daniel Biggerstaff, III, M.D. is for informational purposes only. As each woman is unique, do not rely on this information for diagnosis and treatment. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content and advise that you see a qualified Health Care Professional for individual needs and care.