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    Bladder Suspension

    Types of Bladder Suspension Surgery continued...

    Needle bladder neck suspension surgery may be done through the abdomen or vagina. However, it does not appear to work as well as stress incontinence surgeries that are done through the abdominal wall.

    Sling surgery uses a piece of body tissue, called fascia, or a man-made material to create a sling or hammock-like structure that cradles the sagging bladder neck. This supports the bladder neck and urethra. You can use your own tissue for the surgery (if so, it is removed from your abdominal wall) or donated tissue.

    You and your doctor will discuss which procedure is best for you. Your doctor will consider the following factors when choosing your procedure: Other health conditions you may have, the anatomy of your urinary tract and surrounding structures, and the surgeon's experience. Open retropubic suspension surgery and sling surgery require a hospital stay. The insertion of mesh slings to support the urethra can be done as an outpatient procedure.

    Complications of Bladder Suspension Surgeries

    All surgeries have risks. The most common complication after any type of retropubic suspension surgery is trouble urinating. Less than 5% of patients have permanent urinary retention. This may require urinary catheterization from time to time but rarely requires surgery.

    Other complications associated with retropubic suspension surgery are rare but may include:

    Complications associated with sling surgery may include:

    • Injury to the bladder, urethra, and other urinary tract structures
    • Infection (catheter-related infections are the most common)
    • Man-made sling material may wear away, leading to infection or reduced effectiveness
    • Reactions to anesthesia
    • Overactive bladder
    • Trouble urinating after the procedure
    • Painful intercourse



    How Well Does Bladder Suspension Surgery Work?

    Bladder suspension surgery works well to treat stress incontinence in most cases. Success rates for open retropubic suspension surgery range from 85%-90%. But, the effects do not last forever. Symptoms can return over time, usually after five years. Success rates also drop as the number of bladder suspension surgeries you have go up.

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