Since 1990 surgeons have been using the so-called sling methods, which are far less invasive for the patient than the other procedures traditionally used up until that time.

The principle

The surgeon makes a small incision in the area between the urethra and the vagina. The patient will have been put under either local or general anaesthetic, depending on her individual situation. Through this incision, the surgeon introduces a sling (strip of synthetic mesh material). The surgeon positions and places the sling carefully around the urethra. Once secured there, the sling serves to support the urethra. Depending on the surgeon’s preferred technique, the ends of the sling are either drawn up just over the pubic bone and out again through small incisions, or sideways and out near the thigh creases. The surgeon can test whether the sling provides sufficient support to keep the urethra closed during coughing. If not, the sling’s tension can be corrected immediately.