A urethral vaginal sling procedure is surgery to correct urinary incontinence. It is common in women who have had children and in older women. In this surgery, a strong piece of material is placed under the tube that drains the bladder (urethra). This sling is made of tension-free vaginal tape or nylon mesh. It fits under the urethra like a hammock. The sling is put in position to straighten, support, and hold the urethra in its normal position.
Tell a health care provider about:
- Any allergies you have.
- All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
- Any problems you or family members have had with anesthetic medicines.
- Any blood disorders you have.
- Any surgeries you have had.
- Any medical conditions you have.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Damage to other organs.
- Problems urinating properly for several days or weeks.
- Problems from the use of anesthetics.
- Return of the urinary incontinence.
- Ask your health care provider about changing or stopping your regular medicines. You may need to stop taking certain medicines 1 week before the surgery.
- Do not eat or drink anything for 6–8 hours before the surgery.
- If you smoke, do not smoke for at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
- Make plans to have someone drive you home after your hospital stay. Also arrange for someone to help you with activities during recovery.
What Happens During The Procedure?
- You will have general or spinal anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you are asleep and will feel no pain. With spinal anesthesia, you are numb from the waist down, but you will still be awake.
- A catheter is placed in your bladder to drain urine during the procedure.
- An incision is made in your vagina and low on your belly in the hairline.
- The sling material is passed around your bladder neck and sutured to the muscles to hold the urethra in its normal position.
- The incisions are closed.
Post Procedure Care
- You will be taken to a recovery area where your progress will be monitored closely. Your breathing, blood pressure, and pulse (vital signs) will be checked often. When you are stable, you will be moved to a regular hospital room.
- You will have a catheter in place to drain your bladder. This will stay in place until your bladder is working properly on its own.
- You may have a gauze packing in the vagina to prevent bleeding. This will be removed in 1–2 days.
- You will likely need to stay in the hospital for 2–3 days.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider.