Urology of Greater Atlanta

What Is Bladder Sling Procedure?

Urology Of Greater Atlanta

Sling procedure or sling surgery is a common surgery for stress incontinence. That is urinary incontinence that occurs when you cough, sneeze or put any other type of pressure on your bladder.

The surgeon creates a hammock-like “sling” out of mesh or human tissue. It is then placed under the tube that urine passes through, called the urethra. The urethral sling lifts and supports your urethra and your bladder neck (where your bladder connects to your urethra) to help prevent urine leakage.

There are of course less invasive ways to treat this type of bladder problem that will work if you just have a mild case of stress urinary incontinence. Your health care provider may encourage you first to try making lifestyle changes and Kegel exercises. If the symptoms persist, however then sling surgery may be an option for you.

The surgeon creates a hammock-like “sling” out of mesh or human tissue. It is then placed under the tube that urine passes through, called the urethra. The urethral sling lifts and supports your urethra and your bladder neck (where your bladder connects to your urethra) to help prevent urine leakage.

 

How is Bladder Sling Surgery Performed?

There are many different types of sling procedures used to treat stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

During the most common sling procedure, your surgeon will take a strip of your body tissue, either from your stomach or your thigh to make the sling. Slings might also be made from donor tissue or plastic material that is compatible with body tissues. Then they make a small cut between the scrotum and anus and put the sling around part of the urethral bulb (the enlarged end of the urethra in men).

As it heals the scar tissue forms around it to hold the sling in its place. The sling will squeeze and lift the urethra, which helps prevent leaks.

This type of surgery can also be used to treat urinary incontinence in women. The surgeons make two cuts, one in the vagina and one in the belly. The sling will be stretched through the cut in the stomach, then stitched to the inside of the stomach wall. It will support the urethra behind the pubic bone.

These procedures are usually performed under anesthesia.

Your surgeon will take a strip of your body tissue, either from your stomach or your thigh to make the sling. Slings might also be made from donor tissue or plastic material that is compatible with body tissues. Then they make a small cut between the scrotum and anus and put the sling around part of the urethral bulb.

After the Surgery

Traditional sling procedure usually requires an overnight stay. You would then be free to go home as long as there are no complications. It’s also likely that you will need the aid of a catheter until you heal. That’s a thin, flexible tube that helps drain pee from your body when you can’t use the bathroom on your own.

After sling surgery, you might feel pain for a few days or weeks. You shouldn’t strain, exercise hard, or lift anything heavy until your doctor says it’s OK.

Things to Consider

Some of the side effects of having the sling procedure include:

  • Burning sensation whilst urinating
  • Urine retention
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Painful sex

If a mesh is used, there’s a possibility that it could dissolve. It happens in about 2% of people who use slings made from mesh. In a few cases, doctors recommend surgery to remove part or all of it.

Further Help for Urinary Incontinence

If you’re interested in restoring the ability to achieve continence then speak to a urologist. It may be the case that with some lifestyle modifications and non-invasive procedures, like bladder exercises, continence could be restored.

If you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, consult the experts at Urology of Greater Atlanta. You don’t need to feel embarrassed or assume that bladder control loss is an inevitable part of aging. The team of expert urologists at Urology of Greater Atlanta can help. 

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