This surgery involves placing a sling at the bottom of the bladder. The sling helps decrease leakage of urine.
The urinary tract is consists of:
Urinary incontinence occurs when one is unable to control the leakage of urine. There are two important muscle groups that help hold urine in the bladder.
When the urethral sphincter and pelvic floor muscles weaken, the bladder can drop. When the bladder drops, it can lead to the development of urinary incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence happens when certain activities put pressure on the bladder, causing urine to leak. These activities include:
Stress incontinence is the most common type of urinary incontinence, especially among women.
A sling operation is when a strip of man-made material or human tissue is surgically inserted to support the bladder and urethra. The sling acts as a hammock for the bladder. It helps keep the bladder and urethra in their correct position.
There are different risk factors for female stress urinary incontinence. Some of the more common causes include:
Although not as common, men can also develop stress urinary incontinence from trauma or after having certain types of surgery or radiation.
It is not unusual for there to be more than one cause of incontinence. Before any treatment is done, urinary incontinence requires a thorough evaluation to make sure all causes are identified. Therefore, contact your healthcare provider if you have urinary incontinence that has not been controlled with conservative treatments. He or she will ask about your symptoms and do a physical examination. The examination will include your pelvic area (internal examination) to check the shape and position of your bladder. Your provider may also recommend:
Depending on the circumstances, you may be referred to an urologist or urogynecologist (a doctor who specializes in the urinary tract of women). There are several different forms of treatment for stress urinary incontinence. Non-surgical treatments can often be very successful. These include:
Some medications may be recommended to help with stress urinary incontinence. However, they are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for that use. Talk with your healthcare provider for more information.
Your healthcare provider may recommend surgery if your symptoms have not been controlled with less invasive treatments. Prior to the surgery, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before the procedure. These may include:
If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking. Smoking can interfere with your recovery.
During surgery, which is typically performed as an outpatient, you will most likely receive general anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a sling operation?
After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given, and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon should also let your primary care physician know the details of your surgery and treatment plan.
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