If you are a female and have severe symptoms of stress urinary incontinence, then surgical treatment can be the solution to your problems. There are a few different types of surgery that your physician may recommend. Surgery is not for everyone, so you will want to speak to your physician about what would be the best option for you.
Stress incontinence is when certain actions or moves make you urinate a little. These actions or moves may include sneezing, coughing, or lifting. When these actions put pressure on the bladder, then that is when you urinate a little. This is very common, especially in women. People may not be open about their symptoms and what they are going through. This is thought to be a problem that is associated with old age, but that is not always the case. If you are being inconvenienced by stress incontinence, then you will want to schedule an appointment with your physician immediately.
The most common causes of urinary incontinence in women are childbirth and pregnancy. Hormonal changes, increased weight of the unborn child, and a vaginal birth can be the leading cause of urinary stress incontinence. It can also occur as women get older, especially in women that have gone through menopause. If a woman has had a hysterectomy, she may also be experiencing stress incontinence. A hysterectomy may damage a female’s reproductive parts and the pelvic floor. This damage leads to stress incontinence.
Sling surgery is the most common Female Stress Incontinence Surgical Treatment. For this surgery, the physician will make a small sling out of mesh or your tissues. Then this sling will be put under the urethra. The urethra is a tube that urine passes through. The sling will lift and support the urethra and the neck of the bladder which will aid in preventing leaks. There are some lifestyle changes that may aid in preventing this, such as losing weight or doing Kegel exercises. These lifestyle changes may only help if you have a mild case of stress incontinence. If you have tried these lifestyle changes before, then the sling surgery may be the best option for you. This surgery aid in lessening or stopping the urine leaks. There are two types of sling surgery. These are called mid-urethral sling surgery or the traditional sling surgery. After the surgery, you may have to stay in the hospital for one night. You may need a catheter until after you are healed. You may be in pain for a few days to weeks. The side effects of this surgery are having to urinate too often, having a hard time urinating, painful sexual intercourse, or urinary tract infections. In very rare cases, there is a small chance that the mesh from the sling could break down in the vagina. In this rare case, your physician will have to do surgery to remove the mesh sling.
A bladder neck suspension is used to reinforce the urethra and bladder neck so they do not sag. This gives the urethra to sit against and this will help prevent leakage. During this procedure. The surgeon will make an incision in the low abdomen. The whole surgery will be made through the small incision using a small video camera and thin instruments. This is called a laparoscopic surgery. Your physician will stitch the tissue near the bladder neck.
There are two main types of prolapse surgery. The first is a close off surgery that will completely close off or narrow the vagina to create support for the bladder. This procedure makes sexual intercourse impossible. Build back surgery holds up the bladder and the tissues. Your physician may use your own tissue or insert artificial mesh. This is considered reconstructive surgery. After the surgery, the recovery will depend on what exactly you have done. Your physician will be able to give you clear instructions on what you are allowed to do and on what timelines. You will probably need to take a couple weeks off of work. With the prolapse surgery, your physician may recommend medications or exercises to ensure you have the best experience and no longer feel symptoms.
In some of these surgeries, overactive bladder may involve stimulation. This stimulation is done using small, electrical impulses. Sacral nerve stimulation is when your physician implants a small device under the skin, usually in the buttock. The stimulator is very small and thin. These impulses are painless and block messages of needing to urinate. You are able to try this by wearing the cords on the outside of your body. If you decide that you like this form of treatment, then the cords can be implanted into the body. Surgery to implant the wires is an outpatient procedure. During this procedure, you will be given local anesthesia and mild sedation. Your physician will be able to control the level of stimulation.
Tibial nerve stimulation is done through a needle placed through the skin at the ankle. This sends an electrical stimulation from the ankle to the spin where it controls the bladder. This stimulation will last over twelve weekly sessions, and each last about a half hour. Continuing treatment will depend on how you respond.
Finding the treatment that is right for you may take time. You and your physician may go through a few different treatments along the way. Your physician may choose to start conservatively and then work to other solutions. The most important thing to do is to write down your symptoms. If you are working through a variety of treatments, then you will want to write down how each of the treatments are working. Be sure to speak to your physician about how well each of these are working. You may need to try other treatments as you heal from your surgery.
To request an appointment with Urology, call 251-343-9090. To request an appointment with Radiation Oncology, call 251-414-5665.