Stress incontinence can be embarrassing and isolating, as it can limit your everyday social and physical activities. Unrelated to emotional stress, the condition is urinary leakage during any movement that puts pressure on your bladder, such as coughing, sneezing, exercising, and heavy lifting, can lead to leakage.
Many of the women who come to me with urological issues believe that bladder leakage is just part of getting older and nothing can be done about it. But you don’t have to live with stress incontinence. A relatively short surgical procedure can greatly reduce or eliminate urinary leaking, so you can live your life comfortably, without fearing what will happen if you do something as commonplace as laughing.
Behavioral changes, such as Kegel exercises and weight loss, can prevent stress incontinence from becoming worse, but often not to the degree of total satisfaction for the patient. In some cases I recommend anti-incontinence surgery.
Previously performed in a hospital setting, anti-incontinence surgery is now being performed at our newly expanded Ambulatory Surgery Center at the Spencer R. Berthelsen, M.D., Main Campus. With new equipment and high-definition monitors, we’re able to offer this minimally invasive and convenient treatment to our patients with stress incontinence.
What Is Anti-Incontinence Surgery?
During outpatient anti-incontinence surgery, synthetic mesh or your own tissue is used to create a sling under the urethra or under the bladder neck. The sling works to support the urethra, keeping it closed during physical activity and movement, so urine doesn’t leak.
Under general or spinal anesthesia, a small incision is made inside the vagina and another is made in the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. The sling is then placed under the urethra. Eventually, through the healing process, the sling helps to reduce the excess mobility of the urethra.
Studies have shown an 88 to 95 percent success rate in correcting stress incontinence with the sling surgery procedure.
Getting relief from stress incontinence is now more convenient than ever with outpatient surgery at the newly expanded Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Ambulatory Surgery Center. If you want to know more about sling surgery and if it may be right for you, talk to your doctor or come see me.
Dr. Benjamin Dillon is board certified in Urology, Female Pelvic Medicine, and Reconstructive Surgery. He is Associate Chief of Urology at Kelsey-Seybold, where he cares for patients at the Fort Bend Medical and Diagnostic Center; Spencer R. Berthelsen, M.D., Main Campus; and the Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center. His clinical interests include male and female incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, voiding dysfunction, neurogenic bladder, pelvic floor reconstruction, BPH, and urodynamics.