Bladder surgery for urinary incontinence in women in Park City, IL

Conservative treatments do not work for some women to relieve the symptoms of an overactive bladder or stress incontinence. If urinary incontinence continues even after conservative measures, surgery becomes a considerable option.

Doctor giving advice to a female patient

Urinary incontinence surgery is invasive and involves higher chances of complications than other therapies. But, the procedure also ensures a long-term solution in more severe cases.

The available options for surgery depend on the specific type of urinary incontinence. Most surgical options for urinary incontinence treat stress incontinence. Low-risk surgical alternatives are used for treating other bladder problems like an overactive bladder also called urgency-frequency syndrome or urge incontinence.

Things to consider

Before you decide to have urinary incontinence or bladder surgery in Park City IL, you should:

  • Get an accurate diagnosis: Different surgical approaches are applied for treating different types of incontinence. Your doctor may advise you to get an accurate diagnosis from an incontinence specialist, urogynecologist or urologist for further diagnostic testing.
  • Understand that surgery can only correct the problem for which it is designed: Surgery does not cure all types of urinary incontinence. For instance, in case you are suffering from mixed incontinence which is a combination of overactive bladder and stress incontinence; surgery may improve the stress incontinence but may not provide any relief to your overactive bladder. You may require physical therapy and medication even after surgery for treating the overactive bladder.
  • Think about your future plans for having children: In case you are planning for childbearing in the future, your doctor may advise you to wait for surgery. Your urethra, bladder, and supportive tissues may not be able to bear the strain of pregnancy and post-delivery, thereby undoing the benefits of the surgical fix.

Sling procedures for treating stress incontinence

A sling procedure involves the use of strips of synthetic mesh, your own tissue, or sometimes donor or animal tissue for creating a sling. Your surgeon will place the sling under the tube that carries urine from the urethra or bladder. When you sneeze or cough; the sling helps the urethra stay closed so that you do not accidentally leak urine.

You should discuss the benefits and risks of the different types of sling procedures to help you find the right choice.

Tension-free sling

Young attractive woman at a modern office deskA strip of synthetic mesh is used to make a tension-free sling. The procedure does not involve any stitches. Instead, the body tissue itself holds the sling in place. Eventually, scar tissue develops in and around the mesh and further prevents it from moving.

Your surgeon may apply one of the following three approaches to performing the tension-free sling procedure:

  • Retropubic: In this approach, your surgeon creates a small incision (cut) inside your vagina right under the urethra. The surgeon also creates two small openings (large enough through which a needle can pass) just above your pubic bone. The surgeon then passes the sling behind the pubic bone under the urethra using a needle. A few absorbable stitches are made to close the vaginal incision. The surgeon may apply stitches or a skin glue to seal the needle sites.
  • Transobturator: In this approach, your surgeon creates a similar vaginal incision and a small opening (large enough through which a needle can pass) on either side of the labia. The sling is placed under the urethra using a different pathway. Your surgeon applies absorbable stitches to close the vaginal incision. Your surgeon may seal the needle site using stitches or skin glue.
  • Single-incision mini: In this approach, the surgeon creates a single small incision in the vagina for performing the procedure. Your surgeon places the sling through the single incision. No other needle sites or incisions are required.

Different tension-free sling surgery approaches require various recovery times. Your doctor may advise you to rest two to four weeks for proper healing before you return to activities involving strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. You may require a rest of at least six weeks before you can resume sexual activity.

Surgical mesh is a safe and effective way for treating stress urinary incontinence.

Understanding the risks

Like any other surgery, surgical procedures for urinary incontinence involve some risks. Potential complications such as urinary tract infection, temporary difficulty urinating, urinary retention, or incomplete bladder emptying, and difficult or painful intercourse may occur in rare cases.


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Sanjay Gandhi, M.D.

Sanjay Gandhi, M.D.
Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology

Conditions affecting the female pelvis are the focus at Partners in Pelvic Health North Shore Urogynecology. We provide effective solutions for these problems from our offices at Park City, Woodstock, and Lake Forest in Illinois.

Our team is headed by Sanjay Gandhi, MD, Urogynecologist. Dr. Gandhi’s specialized education included a residency in gynecology and obstetrics at Northwestern University and a three-year urogynecology fellowship. He is among a few in the country to pass the first examination in Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery (URPS) of The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also teaches healthcare students.