Women's Health

Incontinence Surgery

If you’ve been diagnosed with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), you’re not alone. SUI is a common and treatable condition.

  • 1 in 3 women of all ages suffer from stress urinary incontinence.324
  • SUI is caused by weakening of the pelvic muscles that support the bladder and urethra, the thin tube that releases urine from the body.
  • With SUI, everyday sudden movements like laughing, sneezing or exercising put stress on the bladder – causing urine to leak out involuntarily.

Talk with your doctor about the various options that exist to manage SUI. These include treatments such as behavioral therapy, Kegel exercises, biofeedback and electrical stimulation devices. If these non-surgical approaches are not right for you, you may be a candidate for incontinence surgery to treat SUI.

If you suffer from another type of incontinence, such as urge or mixed incontinence, click here to learn about other treatment options.

Normal Pelvic Anatomy
Effect of SUI

Incontinence Surgery for SUI

SUI is the most common type of urinary incontinence and can be the cause of some very embarrassing situations. You may be surprised to learn there are treatments that could reduce urine leakage or stop it altogether, so you can get back to doing the things you enjoy most.

If non-surgical approaches to treating SUI are not right for you, you may be a candidate for incontinence surgery. While there are a variety of surgical techniques that have been used over the years, the current standard of care is to use a Tension-free Vaginal Tape (TVT) sling procedure.

Less common surgical methods for SUI are:

  • Conventional Sling Procedure: A sling is placed under the “bladder neck”, the area of thickened muscle where the bladder connects to the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder.

    The material of the sling may be synthetic mesh or possibly from human or animal tissue. Stitches will be needed in your abdomen to secure the sling to the pelvic tissue versus the “tension-free” approach.
  • Bladder Neck Suspension Surgery: Your surgeon uses stitches (instead of a sling) to lift up and secure the tissues. An abdominal incision is required, so recovery may take several weeks.

Site References

GYNECARE TVT™ Family of Products Essential Product Information


The GYNECARE TVT™ Family of Products: GYNECARE TVT™, GYNECARE TVT EXACT® Continence System, GYNECARE TVT™ with Abdominal Guides, GYNECARE TVT™ Obturator System and GYNECARE TVT ABBREVO® Continence System are intended to be used in women as suburethral slings for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI).


As with any suspension surgery, these procedures should not be performed in pregnant patients. Additionally, because the PROLENE™ Polypropylene Mesh will not stretch significantly, it should not be performed in patients with future growth potential including women with plans for future pregnancy.


• Do not use the GYNECARE TVT™ Family of Products for patients who are on anti-coagulation therapy.
• Do not use the GYNECARE TVT™ Family of Products, for patients who have a urinary tract infection.
• Bleeding or infection may occur post-operatively.
• Transient leg pain lasting 24-48 hours may occur and can usually be managed with mild analgesics after a GYNECARE TVT™ Obturator or GYNECARE TVT ABBREVO® procedure.
• Since no clinical information is available about pregnancy following sub-urethral sling procedure with the GYNECARE TVT™ Family of Products, the patient should be counseled that future pregnancy may negate the effects of the surgical procedure and the patient may again become incontinent.
• Since no clinical information is available about vaginal delivery following sub-urethral sling procedure with the GYNECARE TVT™ Family of Products, in case of pregnancy, delivery via cesarean section should be considered.
• Post-operatively, refrain from heavy lifting and/or exercise (e.g. cycling, jogging) for at least three to four weeks and to refrain from intercourse for one month. The patients can usually return to other normal activity after one or two weeks.
• Contact your surgeon immediately if there is burning sensation during urination, unusual bleeding, problems voiding or other problems.


• Punctures or lacerations or injury to vessels, nerves, bladder, urethra, or bowel may occur during instrument passage and may require surgical repair.
• Improper placement of the GYNECARE TVT™ Family of Products devices may result in incomplete or no relief from urinary incontinence or may cause urinary tract obstruction.
• Transitory local irritation at the wound site and a transitory foreign body response may occur. This could result in extrusion, erosion, fistula formation or inflammation.

For more information, please consult your doctor or call 1-888-GYNECARE (1-888-496-3227).

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