Tension Free Slings

Tension Free Slings for Stress Incontinence

Incontinence and tension-free vaginal bladder slings – treatment in Boulder.

The tension free vaginal sling was developed in Sweden in the early 1990s as an innovative, minimally invasive surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence. When conservative measures such as Kegel exercises, biofeedback, and physical therapy are not enough to improve incontinence, the tension free vaginal sling, also called a bladder sling, is often the best approach.

Dr. Lepine most commonly uses the Gynecare Abbrevo® Smartmesh for her tension free vaginal sling procedures. The TVT is a ribbon-like tape made of woven suture material (prolene). During the procedure, a 1-cm incision is made in the vagina under the urethra. The tape is then placed through the incision, exiting in the pubic region or the inner thighs to create a hammock-like sling. The sling supports the bladder neck and prevents the loss of urine that occurs with coughing, laughing, sneezing, jumping, or running.

More than 1 million TVT procedures have been performed worldwide. It is now considered the “gold standard” for the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence. The TVT procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete, and can be performed using local, regional (spinal or epidural) or general anesthesia. Pain after the tension free sling procedure is minimal. Most women go home the day of the surgery after ensuring that they can empty their bladder well. Women generally return to their usual activities within a few days, although we advise a longer recovery before resuming strenuous physical activity.