Bladder Sling for Men
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.
What do I need to know about a bladder sling procedure?
A bladder sling procedure is surgery to treat urinary incontinence. The sling acts as a hammock to keep your urethra in place and hold it closed when your bladder is full. The urethra is the tube that moves urine out of your bladder when you urinate. The sling supports your urethra to prevent urine from leaking out.
How do I prepare for surgery?
- Your surgeon will talk to you about how to prepare. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home when you are discharged. You may need to stay overnight in the hospital.
- Tell your surgeon about all your current medicines. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.
- Tell your surgeon about any allergies you have, including to medicines or anesthesia. You may be given an antibiotic to help prevent a bacterial infection.
What will happen during surgery?
- You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may instead be given local anesthesia to numb the surgery area. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery, but you should not feel pain.
- Your surgeon will make an incision in your perineum. This is the area between your scrotum and anus. He or she will place the sling under your urethra. The sling may have 2 ends or 4 ends. The ends may be stitched to your abdominal wall and your groin. Your surgeon will pull on the ends. This creates tension on your urethra that will help control urine. Tension may also help change the position of your urethra to keep your bladder from pressing on your urethra. Your surgeon may make other incisions in your lower abdomen to place a device to make adjustments to the sling later.
- Your surgeon will check for correct placement of the sling. A Foley catheter may be placed to help you urinate until swelling from surgery goes away. The incision may be closed with absorbable stitches or medical glue.
What should I expect after a bladder sling procedure?
- Medicines may be given to prevent or treat pain or a bacterial infection.
- You may have some pelvic discomfort after your surgery.
- You may find it hard to urinate, or it may feel different than it did before surgery. You may urinate more slowly than you did before surgery. You may need to use a catheter to empty your bladder a few times a day until your function returns. You may have a Foley catheter for a short period of time to drain your urine.
- You will need to avoid any activity that can strain your surgery area. This includes heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, or straining for a bowel movement.
What are the risks of a bladder sling procedure?
You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. The sling may break down and you may need another procedure to fix it. You may develop long-term pain. Your bladder or other pelvic organs may be damaged during the procedure. You will need surgery to repair any damage. You may have trouble urinating, or you may still leak urine. You may develop a need to urinate urgently or often. You also may have pain during or after sex. You may develop a hernia. You may get a blood clot that can become life-threatening.
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