Urinary Incontinence Surgery—Sling Procedures

(Mid-urethral Sling; Urinary Incontinence Surgery—Tape Procedures; Tension-free Vaginal Tape (TVT) procedure; Transobturator Tape (TOT) Procedure)


Urethral suspension is a surgery to reduce or correct stress incontinence in women. The process uses a sling device to support the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
Female Bladder and Urethra
Bladder and uretha female
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Reasons for Procedure

Stress incontinence is uncontrolled leaking of urine. Muscles in the pelvis support the bladder and urethra. When these muscles are weakend these structures can fall. This makes it difficult for the urethra to close to prevent urine leakage from the bladder when there is pressure on bladder, like coughing. This type of stress incontinence surgery inserts a sling to support the urethra. Lifting the urethra makes it easier for the urethra to close when it should to stop urine leakage from the bladder.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a urethral suspension, your doctor will review a list of possible complications which may include:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Reactions to anesthesia
  • Inability to urinate
  • Continued incontinence or recurrence of the problem
  • Damage to other nearby organs or blood vessels
  • Erosion or loosening of the mesh material used during the procedure
  • Pain, such as during sexual intercourse
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
  • Smoking
  • Drinking
  • Chronic disease such as diabetes or obesity

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