Bladder and urethral repair
Stress incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine when laughing, coughing, sneezing, or lifting. It can result from damage to the urethra, bladder, and supporting muscle and tissues, caused by multiple births, menopause, or other problems.
Bladder and urethral repair may be recommended to prevent urine leakage associated with stress incontinence.
While the patient is deeply asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia), the surgeon elevates the bladder neck (pubococcygeal muscle) by stitching it and the urethra to the anterior (front) pubic bone.
After surgery, the patient will have a urinary catheter in place. The urine may initially appear bloody, but this should gradually resolve. The catheter may be removed several days after surgery if the patient is able to completely empty the bladder. Often a suprapubic catheter will need to remain in place for as long as 3 months, depending on the person's ability to empty the bladder completely.
The amount of time it takes to recover from surgery depends on the individual.
Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Senior Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.
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