Bladder slings and stress incontinence

It may happen when you laugh but it is NOT funny!  Stress urinary incontinence, or the leakage of urine with coughing, laughing or other activities affects about 1 out of 3 women.  Stress incontinence can really affect a woman's quality of life by limiting her activities.   

Treatment options for stress incontinence include physical therapy, wearing a temporary intra-vaginal device or having surgery.   There are no medications approved for the treatment of this type of incontinence in the US.

The most commonly done surgery and considered the "gold standard" is the mid-urethral sling.  The mid urethral sling is a small piece of polyprophylene mesh that is placed under the mid-urethra and provides support under the weakened urethral sphincter.  The procedure takes about 15 minutes to do and is done in the outpatient surgery center.  Long term success rates are good.  In a recently published study evaluating over 17,000 patient charts, the risk of having to have another surgery for stress incontinence was 5.2% at 9 years.  The risk of having to have surgery to remove the mesh (either because it was working its way through the vaginal wall or caused pain) was 1.1% at 9 years.  

Call or talk to your doctor about options for your stress incontinence!

 

Berger et al.  Obstetrics and Gynecology 2019;134:1047-55

Author
Fareesa Khan Dr. Khan is the physician owner of Center for Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery.

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