Many people who have stress urinary incontinence often consider having surgery to correct their problem.
Stress urinary incontinence is embarrassing for those who have an involuntary release of urine when they sneeze, cough, laugh or while participating in physical activities.
Both men and women can have stress urinary incontinence, but it is more common in women than men.
Experiencing severe problems from your Bladder Sling? Read more about the possibilities for a lawsuit.
Bladder Sling Surgeries
To help correct stress urinary incontinence, the main types of bladder sling procedures are:
- A transobturator tape, or TOT, sling.
- Tension-free vaginal tape, TVT, sling.
- Bone-anchored sling procedure
Bladder sling procedures are the primary treatment for stress urinary incontinence and have a success rate of 90%.
These procedures are usually performed on women as bladder sling surgeries are relatively new treatments for men. Some procedures only require small incisions and are done in outpatient clinics, generally taking about 30 minutes to an hour.
Many doctors prefer using the transobturator tape procedure because it does not require a needle to pass through the retropubic space, which helps to reduce injuries to the bowel, bladder or blood vessels.
This procedure involves three small incisions, one on each inner thigh and one suburethral incision for women and in men, the third incision is placed just below the scrotum in the perineum.
The sling, which is surgical mesh or polypropylene tape, is passed through the incisions and placed to hold up the urethra to correct incontinence.
The placement is important because if it’s too loose, urinary incontinence can continue and if it’s too tight, the urethra may not completely empty.
For this procedure, the incisions will heal in approximately one week to 10 days, but there are continuing limitations for up to three months.
Patients cannot do any heavy lifting, they can only take showers for the first two months and they must refrain from sexual activities.
The tension-free vaginal procedure involves placing the sling so it supports the urethra to prevent incontinence.
Like the TOT procedure, TVT surgery involves placing three small incisions, one each on either side of the lower abdomen and one inside of the vagina to place the tape using a needle to thread it under the urethra to attach it to the pubic bone.
This surgery usually involves a short stay in the hospital, but on average only a day. The incisions will heal in approximately seven to 10 days.
But patients should not do any heavy lifting for up to three weeks, including children or pets, and patients can resume normal sexual activities after about six weeks.
This procedure is done on men who are experiencing stress urinary incontinence, usually after having radical prostatectomy surgery.
It involves placing an incision in the perineum, which is just below the scrotum. The sling is placed over the urethra and secured by placing three titanium screws into the descending pubic ramus.
Recovery time is similar to the TOT procedure as the incision will usually heal in about two weeks.
Patients are instructed not to lift more than 10 weeks for about six weeks after surgery, no baths or swimming for three to four weeks and to refrain from sex for four to six weeks.
This procedure isn’t performed as much as the TOT because it can have more complications.
Bladder Sling Recovery Time Off Work
The recovery periods for the bladder sling procedures are similar and most patients can return to work within one or two weeks after the procedure depending on their discomfort levels.
However, It is important to not left heavy weight, usually anything more than 10 to 15 pounds, and limit bending over or squatting for six to 12 weeks.
If your job involves any of these activities, you should have your doctor provide a note for work so they will be restricted.
Bladder Sling Pain Years Later
Like all surgical procedures, there can be complications after bladder slings have been placed over the urethra. The most serious complications are often found years later due to pain the patients experience.
Some patients have had synthetic mesh erode into surrounding organs or the mesh has contracted, causing patients extreme pain and painful sexual intercourse. There have been several lawsuits filed due to these complications.