Anti-incontinence implant

Anti-incontinence implant

How is stress incontinence treated?

Free vaginal implant (mesh) for urinary incontinence: Tension-free vaginal implant placement is a surgery to help control urinary stress incontinence. This is the leakage of urine that happens when you laugh, cough, sneeze, lift objects, or exercise. The surgery helps close the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside) and the neck of the bladder (the part of the bladder that connects to the urethra) after these efforts.

What is the placement of a mesh – implant for stress urinary incontinence?

  • You are given either general or spinal anesthesia before you start surgery.
    • With general anesthesia, you will be asleep and will not feel any pain.
    • With spinal anesthesia, you will be awake but desensitized from the waist down and will not feel pain.
  • A catheter (tube) is placed in your bladder to drain urine from that organ.
  • A small surgical cut (incision) is made inside your vagina. Two small incisions are made in the abdomen just above the pubic hair growth line.
  • A special synthetic (artificial mesh) tape is passed through the incision in the vagina. Subsequently, the tape is located below the urethra. One end of the tape is passed through one of the incisions of the abdomen. The other end is passed through the other abdominal incision.
  • The doctor then adjusts the tension (stiffness) of the tape enough to support the urethra. This amount of support is the reason why the surgery is called tension free. If you do not have general anesthesia, you may be asked to cough. This is to check the tension of the tape.
  • After adjusting the tension, the ends of the tape are cut at the level of the skin in the incisions. The incisions are closed. As you heal, the scar tissue that forms in the incisions will hold the ends of the tape in place, so that the urethra receives support.

The surgery can take approximately 30 – 60 minutes.

Alternative names

TOT (tension-free vaginal band)

Source: Medline Plus: National Library of Medicine of the USA

Frequent questions

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