Urinary Incontinence: Surgical Solutions for Severe Bladder Weakness

By Adam Simpson
Adam Simpson
Adam Simpson
September 15, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

Bladder weakness is a common condition, and affects as many one in four people at some point in their lives. The condition is more common in women than men, and there are a wide range of contributing causes, including conditions such as diabetes and bladder stones, and the after-effects of childbirth. Below we’ll explore ways of handling bladder problems with the help of the Urology Partners in Bradenton, Florida.

Coping with Severe Urinary Incontinence

In some cases, bladder weakness can cease to be a minor inconvenience and become a real problem. For some women, severe urinary incontinence can have a highly detrimental effect on their everyday lives, leaving them feeling helpless, embarrassed and in extreme cases, reluctant to even leave the house.

In incidences such as these, surgery is an appealing option; and presents the opportunity for the patient to enjoy freedom from bladder weakness and a return to normal life once again.

Transvaginal Sling Procedure

The transvaginal sling procedure is suitable for those who have a dropped bladder or prolapse of the bowel or uterus. In basic terms, the sling is inserted to provide support and to stop the urethra from opening (for example, when coughing or laughing).

The sling will typically be made from a synthetic surgical mesh, or in some cases, from tissues extracted from the patient themselves.

If the operation is a success, patients can enjoy greatly improved bladder control, which can make a real difference to their lives.

What to Expect During Surgery

In most instances, the surgery will be performed by a urology specialist, and is undertaken on an outpatient basis. In some cases, an overnight stay may be required, though this is dependent on the general health of the patient in question.

Most surgery is done internally, with only a small incision required either above the hairline or the top of the thigh to help with placement of the mesh. However, these incisions are minor and should heal quickly.

In terms of healing, patients are likely to experience some discomfort immediately after the procedure, but providing the appropriate aftercare regime is followed, this should ease fairly quickly.

After Surgery

After the surgery, the vagina will be packed with gauze to help prevent any bleeding. It’s possible that a catheter may be required for a short while after surgery, but in the vast majority of cases, patients will return home on the day without a catheter in place.

Initially, there will be swelling in the area, but this will gradually subside over the course of a few weeks. The pattern of urination may also be different to usual, but again, this will return to normal after a period of time. Patients should focus on resting as much as possible to begin with, in order to allow their body to recover after the surgery, and only engage in gentle physical activity. In order to aid recovery, limit fluids to around 5-6 glasses of water a day.

Who to Talk to?

If you think that you may require transvaginal sling surgery, then it’s important to speak to a qualified urologist, who can discuss your condition further and make suggestions as to the best course of action to take. 

Adam Simpson