Urethral suspension is a surgery to correct stress
Female Bladder and Urethra
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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.
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: BleedingInfectionReactions to anesthesiaInability to urinateContinued incontinence or recurrence of the problemDamage to other nearby organs or blood vesselsPain (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:
SmokingDrinkingChronic disease such as diabetes or obesity
Your doctor will try to find out why you are leaking urine through: Medical history—information about medicines, illnesses, number of pregnancies, and previous surgeries; pattern of leaking and how it is affecting your lifeUrine sample—to look for the presence of infection or other problemsPhysical 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 functionCystoscopy
—a procedure done to view the inside of the bladder
Leading up to surgery:
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
or other anti-inflammatory drugs
Blood thinners, such as
Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
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.
After surgery, you will be monitored in a recovery room. You will most likely have a catheter in place to drain your urine.
Anesthesia will block pain during the surgery. After surgery, you may experience some pain or soreness. You will be given
to relieve the discomfort.
You will most likely be sent home the same day.
At first, your urine may look bloody. This will resolve over time.
When you are able to empty your bladder completely, the catheter will be removed. You may be asked to get up and walk around.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as: Washing their handsWearing gloves or masksKeeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as: Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the sameReminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masksNot allowing others to touch your incisions
Certain steps will allow healing to take place. General steps include: Avoid lifting and strenuous exercise for six weeks after surgery.Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.Ask your doctor when it will be safe to have sex or use tampons.
To help ensure a smooth recovery, follow your doctor's
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs: Signs of infection, including fever and chillsRedness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision sitePain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been givenCough, shortness of breath, or chest painSevere nausea or vomitingTrouble urinatingPain, burning, urgency, or frequency while urinating
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Incontinence. American Urological Association Foundation website. Available at:
Updated January 2011. Accessed September 16, 2012.
incontinence. American Association of Family Physicians website. Available at:
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/urinary-incontinence.html. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Surgical mesh. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at:
http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm142636.htm. Updated October 8, 2009. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Surgical treatment for female stress urinary incontinence. National Association for Continence website. Available at:
http://www.nafc.org/bladder-bowel-health/types-of-incontinence/stress-incontinence/surgical-treatment-for-female-stress-urinary-incontinence. Updated July 2009. Accessed September 14, 2012.
Townsend MK, Danforth KN, et al. Physical activity and incident urinary incontinence in middle-aged women.
J Urol. 2008;179:1012-1016; discussion 1016-1017.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Am J Med.
Last reviewed December 2013 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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