How a Bladder Sling Surgery Can Help Manage Incontinence

Bladder Sling Surgery has been used as an effective method in the treatment of urinary continence for years. Urinary incontinence is a very common problem, especially in older women. The etiology of incontinence varies in different people. Doctors recommend surgery only when the problem is very serious, and when no other treatment is effective.

Generally, there are 4 types of incontinence – stress, overflow, urge, and mixed incontinence. Among them, the common type of incontinence is stress incontinence. It occurs when coughing and sneezing put extra pressure on the bladder and result in leaking of urine. This happens due to the weakness of the sphincter muscles. These muscles can become weak due to aging, childbirth, or illness. The severity of the problem increases as you get older. Bladder sling surgery is usually done in cases of Intrinsic Sphincter Deficiency (ISD).

In Intrinsic Sphincter Deficiency (ISD) surgery, an artificial sling is used to support the sphincter. It is usually made of Gore-Tex® or Teflon®. Rectus fascia can also be used. It is done either through the abdomen using a laparoscope, or through the vagina under local or general anesthesia. The sling is placed under the urethra and is attached to the vaginal wall, pubic bone, or abdominal wall. When extra pressure is applied on the bladder the sling acts as a hammock to prevent leaking of urine.

Pre-Operative Preparation
Your doctor will conduct a detailed examination before conducting the surgery. Several tests are also conducted to determine the severity of the problem. The tests include examination of the pelvis, and stress test. Another test called Q-tip test is conducted to find the angle of displacement of the urethra under stress. Subtracted cystometry is used to determine the ability of the bladder to hold urine. The final decision is made based on the exact factors that are contributing to bladder weakness.

Effectiveness of Surgery
Bladder sling surgery has been proven to be very effective to prevent incontinence. However, it also depends on the sling material used, and the position of attachment. Around 3-12% of women have complained about incontinence after surgery. According to a recent study, use of rectal fascia has been successful in almost all patients – around 97% of patients got a complete cure from this procedure and very few patients complained about the failure of the surgery.

Will it be Beneficial for You
Doctors recommend surgery only for patients with very severe urinary incontinence. If you only have a slight leaking problem, there are many other treatment options available. Surgery is only the last resort.

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