*

Definition  

Urethral suspension is a surgery to correct stress incontinence in women.

Female Bladder and Urethra  
Bladder and uretha female

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

*

Reasons for Procedure  

The goal of this surgery is to place the urethra and bladder back into the correct position. This will stop the uncontrolled leaking of urine.

*

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
  • 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
*

What to Expect  

Prior to Procedure  

Your doctor will try to find out why you are leaking urine through:

  • Medical history—information about medications, illnesses, number of pregnancies, and previous surgeries; pattern of leaking and how it is affecting your life
  • Urine sample—to look for the presence of infection or other problems
  • Physical exam—includes a rectal and vaginal exam
  • Additional testing may be ordered to evaluate bladder function and urine flow, such as:
    • Urodynamic testing (urine flow studies)—a temporary catheter is placed to study bladder function
    • Cystoscopy —a procedure done to view the inside of the bladder

Leading up to surgery:

  • Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
  • Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.

Anesthesia  

You may receive a spinal anesthetic to numb your lower body. General anesthesia may also be used, in which case you will be asleep.

Description of Procedure  

This procedure is done through the vagina. There are no visible cuts made in the skin. Special surgical tools will be passed up through the vagina. These tools will be used to place sutures near the bottom of the bladder. The threads will then be tied to the abdominal wall or the pelvic bone. The thread will pull the bladder back into its normal position. The threads will be left in place to continue to support the bladder.

Immediately After Procedure  

After surgery, you will be monitored in a recovery room. You will most likely have a catheter in place to drain your urine.

How Long Will It Take?  

1-1.5 hours

How Much Will It Hurt?  

Anesthesia will block pain during the surgery. After surgery, you may experience some pain or soreness. You will be given pain medication to relieve the discomfort.

Average Hospital Stay  

You will most likely be sent home the same day.

Postoperative Care