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Vaginal Sling for Urinary Incontinence

Stress urinary incontinence is the inability to control the flow of urine, which leads to the leakage of urine when you sneeze, cough or laugh. Vaginal sling or pubovaginal sling is a minimally invasive surgery performed to treat stress urinary incontinence. There are three types of slings:

  • Conventional sling: Sling made of body tissue or synthetic material, which is secured with stitches.
  • Tension-Free sling: A mesh sling, which is held in place with the surrounding tissue.
  • Adjustable sling: The sling can be adjusted during and after the procedure.

The procedure is performed under general or spinal anesthesia. Your doctor makes a small incision inside your vagina and another either in the groin or above the pubic hairline. A catheter is inserted into your bladder to drain urine. The sling is passed through the incision and secured around the urethra. This helps in lifting and supporting the dropped bladder or urethra back to its normal position. You may be discharged from the hospital on the same day or you may have to stay for 1 or 2 days after the surgery.

As all surgical procedures, pubovaginal sling may be associated with certain complications, which include:

  • Break down of the artificial material of the sling
  • Vagina may slip out of normal position
  • Damage to the bladder, urethra or vagina
  • Irritation in the bladder

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