What is colposuspension?
Colposuspension is a surgical procedure undertaken to help treat stress incontinence and prevent involuntary leaks in women.
Stress incontinence is when extra stress is put on the abdomen and bladder, causing accidental urination. This extra stress can be caused by exercising or jumping, coughing, sneezing or laughing.
This operation involves cutting into the abdomen (lower tummy) to lift the neck of the bladder and then stitching it into the correct position to prevent urine leakage.
Am I a good candidate for this treatment?
If you have tried other treatments for stress incontinence which haven’t worked, your doctor may suggest a this treatment.
Other treatments include:
- Using incontinence pads
- Losing weight, drinking less caffeine and other lifestyle changes
- Pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles, causing accidental leakage
- Taking medicines to manage symptoms, such as duloxetine
Colposuspension is an effective long-term treatment for stress incontinence in women, however, in some cases, stress incontinence may still occur after the operation.
How does this treatment work?
This treatment is performed via laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery ora mini-laparotomy. open surgery.
In laparoscopic surgery, one or more small cuts using small surgical instruments will be made in your stomach.
In open (mini-laparotomy) surgery, a larger 5cm cut will be made in your lower tummy (near the bikini line) so that the surgeon can reach and lift the neck of your bladder. It will be then stitched in place at the top of your vagina.
A small camera may be placed inside your bladder to make sure the stitches are in the correct place and no trauma has been caused to the bladder.
Following your colposuspension treatment, you may experience discomfort or pain for up to six weeks. You can take regular painkillers, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, to manage this.
During your recovery, you may also:
* Have a catheter inserted to drain urine from your bladder
* Have tubes attached to your wound to drain any blood or fluid
* Experience some bleeding from the vagina
* Be advised not to partake in strenuous exercise, have sex or lift anything heavy for six to eight weeks following your colposuspension.
Normal daily activities like driving should be avoided until all pain from surgery or the wound has cleared up. Your surgeon will advise you on when it’s safe to return to driving.
Usual activities may be restarted after four weeks, but your surgeon will advise you on this.
Most women recover without any complications, however, if you experience any of the following adverse symptoms, you should contact your doctor:
* Difficulty or pain passing urine
* Signs of infection (pain, redness, or pus leaking from the wound)
* High temperature
* Increased pain
* Painful sex
Speak to your surgeon about expected side effects during your recovery.