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 Tension-Free Vaginal Tape(TVT / TOT)

TVT Sling is an operation to treat stress urinary incontinence. Stress incontinence is leakage of urine that occurs with activities which cause an increase in abdominal pressure such as coughing, sneezing, jumping, lifting, exercising and in some cases walking.This leakage occurs because the muscles at the bladder neck have lost their supports and strength. As a valve mechanism, the urethra (waterpipe) no longer stays closed when extra pressure is put on the bladder.

TVT sling is a minimally-invasive operation requiring three small incisions to insert and position the tape. A 1 cm cut is made on either side of the lower abdomen (tummy) with a 3 cm incision in the vagina to allow the tape to be put in place.Women are usually in hospital for one night following this type of surgery.

Before your Operation

In the weeks just prior to surgery it is common to come to Urology Associates to see the continence nurse specialist for a pre-op appointment.You may have a routine blood test and a urine sample taken one week prior to your operation. Depending on your age and other medical problems you may also have an electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the electrical activity of your heart.The operation and possible complications will be explained to you by the doctor. When you feel comfortable that you understand what is to be done and have had all your questions answered you will be asked to sign a consent form.It is important to avoid constipation. Try to establish and maintain a regular, soft bowel habit leading up to your operation. Identify the foods that can help you in this area for your post-op period.

What does the Tension-Free Vaginal Tape (TVT) surgery involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about 30 minutes.
Your doctor will make two small cuts on the lower part of your abdomen and another small cut on your vagina just below your urethra (tube that carries urine from your bladder)
They will pass a needle, with the tape, from one side of your urethra and up through one of the cuts made on your abdomen. Your doctor will pass the needle, with the tape, from the other side of your urethra and up through the other cut on your abdomen.

What complications can happen?

1 General complications

  • Pain
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Bleeding
  • Developing a haematoma
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring
  • Blood clots

2 Specific complications

  • Urine infection
  • Damage to your bladder
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Damage to surrounding structures
  • Overactive bladder
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