Incontinence Treatments

Incontinence Surgery

5 min Read
Incontinence Surgery
What is incontinence surgery?

Sometimes incontinence can have an adverse effect on your quality of life.

When you’ve exhausted conventional treatments and the ever-present symptoms still pose as a major disruption to your every day activities, it may be time to look at a more radical solution, like surgery.

Although it is more invasive and has a higher risk of complications than other therapies, urinary incontinence surgery can also provide a long-term solution in severe or persistent cases.

Your surgical options depend on the type of urinary incontinence you have. Most options for urinary incontinence surgery treat stress incontinence. However, surgical alternatives are available for other bladder problems, including urge incontinence.

When is surgery required?

There are a range of surgical procedures to treat many bladder related conditions and you should consult your doctor about which best suits you.

  • Stress incontinence most often results from weakened pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue supporting the bladder. Surgical approaches include colposuspension to repair the bladder neck, and bladder suspension surgery (also known as sling suspension) to repair the pelvic floor.
  • A surgical approach for urge incontinence is rare. Urge incontinence occurs when the bladder walls involuntarily contract creating an overwhelming urge sensation with incontinence often as a result. Other treatments including medications are usually first line therapies, but bladder augmentation surgery is sometimes suggested as a last resort measure.
  • Prolapse is the protrusion of the pelvic organs into the vaginal canal and even outside the vagina. It happens when the pelvic floor becomes weakened or damaged. There are various surgical procedures and approaches depending on which organ or organs have prolapsed, the woman's age and whether she wishes to retain her uterus. Most procedures involve repairing the structures supporting the vaginal wall.
  • Bladder surgery can also be performed to remove cancerous tissue and tumours on the bladder wall. This is called transurethral surgery and is used in early stage cancer patients. Sometimes the cancer may be advanced enough to have sections of the bladder removed (partial cystectomy), or if too advanced, the bladder will need to be removed entirely. This is called a radical cystectomy and will often require additional reconstructive surgery for urine diversion.