Urinary Incontinence Surgery - Medical Negligence Solicitors Claim


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Surgery - Urinary Incontinence

Many women have stress urinary incontinence, which is the leakage of urine when carrying extra weight, sneezing or coughing. The pelvic floor is weakened so that the bladder neck and urethra drop. Surgeries are available to lift the urethra, the bladder or both. Urine is less likely to pass through the urethra when coughing, laughing, or sneezing. If exercises don’t work to fix the problem, the next step is surgery. There are several surgical choices. These include:

  • Tension free vaginal tape surgery
  • Retropubic suspension
  • Urethral sling
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Urethral bulking

In tension free vaginal tape surgery, also called TVT surgery, a piece of mesh tape is placed on the underside of the urethra. It acts like a sling to keep the urethra in a normal position. Tape is inserted through small incisions in the abdomen and in the vaginal wall. No sutures are required. The surgery takes about 30 minutes. The major risk of the procedure is that the surgery will fail. There can be urethral leakage after the surgery and there can be damage to nerves or other urinary organs.

In retropubic suspension surgery, the bladder neck and urethra are both lifted. It is an abdominal surgery with an incision in the lower abdominal wall. There is one big incision or several small incisions in laparoscopic surgery. The most common procedure is the Burch colposuspension surgery. Recovery time is shorter after laparoscopic surgery. The risks of this surgery is difficulty urinating following the surgery, urge incontinence, infection, injury to the bladder or other urinary organs, internal bleeding and pelvic organ prolapse. General anaesthesia carries its own set of complications, including death. You need to have a urinary catheter for a day or so following the procedure until you can get up to use the toilet on your own.

A urethral sling can be used for urinary incontinence. It involves placing a sling around the urethra to lift it into a normal position. The sling is attached to the abdominal wall. The sling may be made out of tendon, ligament, or muscle taken from the woman or from an animal (pig) source. It can also be a synthetic sling. You’ll need to be hospitalized and a catheter placed after surgery. You go home after 2-3 days and you recover within four weeks. It is successful 80 percent of the time.

Risks of surgery include problems urinating, failure of surgery, heavy bleeding, infection at the surgical site, new onset of urge incontinence, or an injury to bladder, ureters or urethra. General anaesthesia carries the risk of its own complications, including death.

Electrical stimulation is used to manage urinary incontinence by sending a mild electric current to the nerves residing in the lower back or those residing in the pelvic muscles. You can do this at home with a special unit that has a vaginal electrode or an anal electrode. You do fifteen minute stimulation sessions twice daily for about twelve weeks. The action is similar to Kegel exercises. The risks of doing electrical stimulation include having pain where the device is placed beneath the skin, pain from the procedure, movement of the device, bleeding and infection and the surgical site.

Urethral bulking can be used for urinary incontinence. It involves injecting a substance around the urethra so that a hole can be closed in the urethra or the urethra is sealed better to hold back urine when coughing or sneezing. The material is injected just beneath the bladder outlet and it can be done through the skin so there is no major incision. It can be placed after using a cystoscope in the urethra to find where to place the substance. The major risks of surgery include pain at the injection site or injury to the urethra. The substance can migrate so that it doesn’t work any more.

Urinary Incontinence Surgery - Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our urinary incontinence medical negligence solicitors operate using the no win no fee** scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here