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A member asked:

Is surgery for incontinence safe? a coworker says her friend had the surgery but now has almost constant pain. is this common, or did she just have a bad surgeon?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Wasserman
Gynecology 21 years experience
Surgery : Surgery for female urinary incontinence is a safe procedure. There are a number of different types of surgery for incontinence. Most physicians are using bladder slings for incontinence. This is a surgery for stress incontinence only. There are other types of incontinence and they will not be helped from this type of surgery. The surgery requires making a small incision inside the vagina. The incision is about 2 cm long on the upper wall of the vagina. There will also be 2 needle exit marks adjacent to the public bone. The procedure will place a sling underneath the urethra. These procedures are about 90% effective at curing stress incontinence. The sling will act as a hammock to support the urethra when a stress event happens. A stress event is one that causes increases in intra-abdominal pressure–like a laugh, cough or a sneeze. Most slings are made of a permanent surgical mesh. The mesh remains in place underneath the vaginal skin. Most surgeons will also perform a cystoscopy at the time of sling placement as a safety step to be sure the bladder is not damaged at the time of the surgery. This is an outpatient procedure and some patients may go home with a catheter in their bladder for a short period of time after the surgery. Complications of these types of procedures are extremely rare. Most people do not have any complications but with all surgery there are associated risks. The risks of the surgery are: bleeding, infection, damage to bladder, bowel, organs of reproduction, nerves, mesh erosion or exposure, post operative pain, pain with intercourse, urinary retention and anesthesia.
Dr. Scott Beard
Urogynecology 25 years experience
Hard. To say: She shouldn't be hurting but if not evaluated properly they may have missed the possibility of interstitial cystitis. Ic could have flared up during/following the surgery or it may even be why she was leaking in the first place. A "bad" surgeon could be another possibility but the fda and docs agree that tvt type slings r the gold standard for incontinence surgery.
Dr. Abraham Morse
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Generally yes: But like any surgery there are risks and not everyone has a good result.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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