It can be done at the same time as other gynae operations and involves a surgical incision across the very bottom of the abdomen. Sometimes it can be done using laparoscopy ("keyhole surgery").
You will quickly recover from your operation but it normally takes a short while to start passing urine properly again. This is quite normal. During this time you will have a catheter through which you will pass urine.
Are there other types of incontinence surgery?
While a colposuspension is usually the best operation for stress incontinence, other operations are sometimes indicated. Some are done entirely through the vagina while others are done through an abdominal incision. Your doctor will assess you carefully to determine which operation is the right one.
How can I prepare for the operation?
If you are overweight it would improve the outcome of the operation if you could lose some weight. On admission you will undergo pre-operation tests in preparation for the anaesthetic. You will be asked not to eat or drink from the night before your operation and a simple pubic shave will be performed.
What should I expect just after my operation?
You will be sleepy and perhaps a little disorientated when you first wake up, this feeling soon goes. A dripset will be attached to your arm, your abdomen will probably have a bandage and often there will be a tube draining urine through your abdomen or you will have a catheter. The urine may be blood stained.
Please let the nurses know if you can't pass urine when you want to or if you have any bladder discomfort. The nurses will empty your bladder for you several times to check whether you empty it properly. Once mastered you will be discharged.
Don't be concerned if you can't pass urine immediately, it sometimes takes a short while to return to normal.
What can I expect in the days after my operation?
After one or two days you will be able to drink and eat properly. On the third post operative day the catheter will either be removed if it is a urethral catheter or just clamped off if it is a catheter coming through your abdomen. You will be asked to record the exact time you pass urine along with the amount on the input/output chart.
You will be given an appointment for the Urogynaecology Clinic for follow-ups after your discharge. If you have any problems before the clinic appointment please call to arrange an earlier appointment. For urgent cases, please attend the Walk-in Clinic.