Incontinence operations

Many women suffer with involuntary leakage of urine when they cough,sneeze,walk, run or undertake various physical activities. This is known as “Stress Incontinence”, it affects women of all ages and is hugely socially embarrassing and physically limiting. Urge incontinence “the urgent feeling of needing to go to the bathroom and the inability to wait” is also a very common problem. It is usually due to an bladder (detrusor) "over-activity". Simple treatment with bladder retraining and lifestyle changes often cures the problem, however sometimes medication or further interventions are required. These conditions affect millions of women worldwide.

Once stress incontinence is diagnosed there is an operation to correct this placing a permanent tape under the mid-urethra to aid closure and prevent leakage of urine. This is known as TVT (Tension-free Vaginal Tape) or TOT (Trans-Obturator-Tape). This procedure can usually be performed in day surgery and has an approximately an 80% success rate. A piece of permanent mesh (“tape”) is inserted through an incision inside the vagina and threaded behind the urethra. The middle part of the tape supports the urethra, and the two ends are threaded through two incisions in either the:

  • Top of the inner thigh – this is called a trans-obturator tape procedure (TOT).
  • Abdomen – this is called a retropubic tape procedure or tension-free vaginal tape procedure (TVT).