A urethral sling is one of many treatments for urinary incontinence. The surgery is minimally invasive and does not require a long recovery or changes to your current lifestyle.
Your surgeon at Valley Urogynecology Associates makes two small incisions above the pubic bone and a third in your vagina during the surgery. They pull a small piece of mesh through one of the incisions and position it around the urethra to lift it into its normal position to stop the involuntary leakage. They attach the mesh to your abdominal wall.
Over time, your tissues grow and heal around the sling. You have several options for the type of sling, including synthetic materials like biocompatible plastic or polymer or natural muscular tissue from somewhere else in your body.
Urethral slings treat a specific type of urinary incontinence called stress incontinence — one of Valley Urogynecology Associates' specialties. Stress urinary incontinence is an issue that arises when the pressure within your pelvis or abdomen increases. Urine leaks involuntarily when you:
Usually, stress incontinence develops because of age-related changes to the urethra and the supportive structures around it. You might also be at a higher risk if you’ve given birth, have a chronic cough, frequently experience constipation, smoke, or repeatedly lift heavy objects.
Once the healing process is complete, your lifestyle won’t change much. However, you will need to make some adjustments during your recovery. You shouldn’t lift anything heavier than 15 pounds for around two weeks. You should also avoid strenuous exercise according to your provider’s instructions.
After surgery, you’ll need to use a catheter for a short time. That gives your pelvic tissues time to heal. Your surgeon inserts the catheter into your bladder via your urethra or abdomen.
It takes 2-4 weeks total to finish the healing process after urethral sling surgery at Valley Urogynecology Associates.
To learn more about urethral slings and how they function, call Valley Urogynecology Associates or book an appointment online today.