Incontinence Procedures – Women’s Sling
The most common surgical procedure for stress incontinence in women is the sling procedure. Stress incontinence is loss of bladder control while coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, or even with minimal activity.
During the sling procedure, doctors create a “sling” to support the bladder neck and urethra. The sling is usually composed of synthetic mesh . The sling is effective in keeping the urethra closed during moments of exertion.
A few different types of slings exist. The tension-free sling is a synthetic mesh sling that is not held in place by stitches. Instead, normal tissue grows around the mesh to hold it into place. A small opening is made inside the vagina through which the sling is introduced.
Some new, adjustable slings are being tested as well. After the sling is placed and while the patient is awake, the doctor adjusts the tension of the sling to meet the patient’s needs. Over time, the sling can be re-adjusted as needed.
Conventional slings are attached around the bladder neck using stitches. They typically require a larger incision and a hospital stay. Convention slings can be composed of synthetic material, the body’s own tissue, or animal or deceased donor tissue(collagen based slings). Collagen based slings are the least effective as it tends to be absorbed by the body.