Surgical Options

Surgery may be an option for stress urinary incontinence if less invasive treatments fail.

Many surgical options have high success rates when performed for the first time. Repeat procedures often are not as successful. Therefore, it is important to discuss the appropriate treatment with your doctor.

Surgical procedures attempt to restore a normal position to the bladder base and urethra. These procedures may be done through an incision in the vagina or the abdomen. All surgeries have complications and it is important to understand these beforehand; your doctor will discuss these with you, but feel free to ask questions. There are many procedures not mentioned here. Your doctor will recommend options specific to your situation.

Tension-Free Vaginal Tape (TVT) Procedure or Transobturator Vaginal Tape

This procedure for stress urinary incontinence is done through a small incision in the vagina. A mesh tape is placed under the urethra like a sling or hammock. This sling provides support to the urethra and prevents leakage when you do things like cough, laugh or sneeze.

Burch procedure

This procedure for stress urinary incontinence is done through an incision in the abdomen. Stitches are placed in the tissue beside the bladder base and urethra and brought up to the ligament behind the pubic bone. This can also be done through smaller incisions (keyhole surgery) with the help of a small camera and is called a Laparoscopic Burch Procedure.

Urge urinary incontinence does not respond well to typical surgical procedures for incontinence. In fact, symptoms may be made worse by surgery.