What is Operation for Incontinence (Female)?

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine or the inability to hold one’s urine that is enough to cause a social or hygiene concern. Incontinence is four times more prevalent in women than in men.

Effects of Operation for Incontinence (Female)

Generally, the less invasive or minor the surgery is, the lower the chance of getting a long-term success. Just like any other procedures, one’s chance of success that is long term will depend also on one’s general health, age, weight, prior operations, and other personal circumstances, for instance having a hysterectomy simultaneously with the procedure. A surgeon’s option or choice of operation recommended for you are dependent on these factors.

Candidates for Operation for Incontinence (Female)

Occasionally, exercise and other conservative techniques are not sufficient for some women. If these methods are not producing any results following a reasonable period, one might need to discuss his or her choice of surgery with a surgeon. This is not usually the first alternative and even in the best situation, there is no guarantee of getting good results.

Your Consultation

The patient will be admitted to the hospital a day prior to the procedure and eating or drinking anything for several hours before the operation is not permitted. This is commonly practiced prior to having a general anesthesia.

The Operation for Incontinence (Female) Procedure

The Burch Colposuspension is the best known and most commonly used technique for incontinence. This procedure generates the highest rate of long-term success with an 85 to 90% success rate at five years postop.

Once the patient is under anesthesia, the surgeon will create a small horizontal “bikini line” cut just beneath the hairline. After this, the surgeon will then make a cradle of threads from the back to the front of the pelvic area and stitched at each end to appropriate strong fibrous tissues.

Once the patient comes around from the surgery, a tube can be found from the wound which is utilized to drain away any excess fluid. This tube will be taken away after approximately 24 hours. A catheter which may be either coming out through the wound or through the urethra or the bladder outlet is seen. This will be needed since the patient initially is not capable of passing all urine and may leave some in the bladder which eventually must be removed using the catheter.

Recovery

The patient may stay in the hospital for approximately one week but may also depend on how fast he or she recovers. Once the patient comes home from the hospital, full recovery may take up to about six weeks. During this time, the patient must be able to build up his or her activities by stages. Driving may not be recommended at about four weeks postop because of the soreness that the patient may experience which might inhibit the patient’s reactions during an emergency.

Risks

Just like any other operation, operations for stress incontinence also have the usual inevitable risks. Specifically, reports show that 1 out of 5 women have the ability to develop complications such as the following:

  • Inability to fully empty the bladder which may require treatment which involves intermittent self-catheterization for a prolonged period of time while function of the bladder returns to normal.
  • Overactive bladder wherein the patient rushes to the toilet and/or need to go repeatedly even though the patient does not leak with coughing, physical exertion, etc.
  • Some patients may experience dyspareunia or discomfort during sexual intercourse

Weakness of the pelvic floor such as the possibility of prolapse of the womb.

FAQs

What are the alternative procedures for incontinence?

There are a lot of recognized types of operation for incontinence. These include anterior repair of the vaginal wall, Stamey procedure or needle bladder neck suspension, Marshall-Marchetti-Krantz colposuspension, and a selection of sling procedures. Your surgeon may recommend one of these options that is most suitable for you. For instance the Burch colposuspension may work better for you because of your general health or due to some particular features that are pertinent to you. For example, the anterior repair technique is suitable only if the patient’s main goal is to repair a prolapse and the treatment of stress incontinence is less significant.

What is the Tension-free Vaginal Tape surgery?

The tension-free vaginal tape or TVT is used in the creation of a sling and is a new type of surgery that is being assessed at the present time. The synthetic tape is placed through small incisions on top of the pubic area and stays permanently in place with body fibers that will soon grow into it and offers support for the bladder neck when laughing or coughing puts stress to it. A local anesthesia is usually performed in this procedure and hospital stay and convalescence may be much shorter than for the other operations mentioned above, that is hospital stay of one or two days and convalescence of about two weeks. The tension-free vaginal tape procedure has been utilized for only a few years. Although this procedure remains experimental with no long-term information on success rates or possible later complications available as of the moment, it has been demonstrating promising results with lesser short-term complications than with the conventional methods.