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What to Expect with Surgery for Stress Incontinence - Part 2

Posted Feb 03 2009 10:50pm 1 Comment

Continuing with our series of posts about Surgeries for Stress Incontinence, this final part offers detailed information on each surgical procedure.

As mentioned on What to Expect with Surgery for Stress Incontinence - Part 1, there are two types of surgical procedures for stress incontinence, surgery through the abdomen and surgery through the vagina,

Surgery for stress incontinence through the abdomen

If you’re having surgery through a cut in your lower abdomen, such as ‘open retropubic colposuspension’ or a sling. you will expect:

* a stay in hospital for several days.
* general anaesthetic during the operation.
* your operation to last one hour to two hours.
* a tube called a ‘catheter’ inserted to empty the bladder.
* the catheter to be removed after a day or so to pass urine normally.
* the pain to subside after a few days, but you’ll receive painkillers.
* recovery time of six to eight weeks.
* no driving or sex for 6 weeks.
* no exercise until your doctor has given you the green light.

If you had a type of surgery called the keyhole surgery you will be able to go home sooner.

Surgery for stress incontinence through the vagina

If you’re having a type of surgery called ‘anterior vaginal repair’ or ‘needle suspension’, you will expect:

* to stay in hospital for several days (not as long for open colposuspension due to the outside skin not being cut).
* a general anaesthetic (so you may sleep during the operation) or an anaesthetic into your spine (you stay awake but you can’t feel anything).
* the operation to take between 40 minutes and 60 minutes.
* a tube called a ‘catheter’ inserted to empty the bladder..
* the catheter to be removed after a day or so to pass urine normally.
* some pain after the operation, but you’ll receive painkillers.
* the pain to subside after a few days.
* recovery time of up to six weeks.
* no type of exercise until your doctor has given you the green light.

Surgery for stress incontinence aims to give more control over the bladder; however, it may not always cure the problem completely and having a surgical procedures for stress incontinence are not usually suitable if you still plan to have children, or think you might want to in the future. Not everyone with stress incontinence needs surgery, but if your problems persist, your doctor may suggest it.

We would like to hear from people who have received surgery for stress incontinence and would like to share their experience and success (or not) with others. Please comment below.

Comments (1)
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I just had surgery on Monday for stress incontinence and i have to say the the hardest thing for me was being in the hospital bored. The pain was not bad at all actually the only pain i had was from the catherer. I couldn't wait to have that thing taken out. I came home after a day in the hospital and was relieved to be able to cough, sneeze and laugh with out having to cross my legs. Even though out of habit i still have caught myself doing it. The procedure i had was the miniar urethral sling suspension and i would definatley recommend it. Don't suffer with the hassle and embarrasment of incontinece i did for almost 10yrs. I should have spoken to my Dr sooner the surgery was so easy and the results even after less than a week? Fantastic!!!
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