Urinary incontinence surgery is one type of treatment for urinary incontinence—the involuntary loss of bladder control. Some patients may be candidates for non-surgical treatments for urinary incontinence.
Urinary incontinence surgeries for women are also called urogynecologic procedures, and are performed by experts called urologic gynecologists.
Surgical treatment depends on the type of incontinence a woman is experiencing. At Holy Cross Health, most urinary incontinence medical procedures are minimally invasive, and performed either transvaginally (through the vagina) or laparoscopically (using small incisions through which the surgeon threads a video camera and surgical tools).
Types of urinary incontinence surgery include:
- Bladder Slings: This is the most common procedure for stress urinary incontinence. A small incision is made in the vagina, and a sling made of either natural or synthetic material is inserted under the urethra to give support to prevent leakage of urine.
- Bladder Neck Suspension (also called retropubic suspension): In this procedure, an incision is made on the lower abdomen and the neck of the bladder is sewn to the back of the pubic bone.
- Urethral Bulking: Natural or synthetic materials are injected into the layers of the urethra (the tube where urine leaves the bladder) to ‘bulk’ it up and help tighten the muscle.
- Sacral nerve stimulation: In some types of urinary incontinence, sacral nerve signals between the spinal cord and bladder are not functioning correctly. Delivering electrical impulses can help stop these faulty signals and control incontinence. In this procedure, surgeons place a small pacemaker-like device under the skin through a small incision. Electrodes from the device send pulses to the sacral nerve.
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For more information about Gynecologic Surgery at Holy Cross Health, please fill out our brief contact form or call Stephanie Heller, program director at 301-754-7501.
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