Tape Procedures for Female Stress Incontinence
Stress incontinence is a common problem in women and is caused by weakening of the pelvic floor muscle. Pelvic floor exercises can help but in the women who still have a problem a tape procedure can provide an excellent cure.
There are several varieties of vaginal tape procedure for stress incontinence: the tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) and the trans-obturator tape (TOT) are the two most commonly used. In each a fine tape is inserted like a hammock under the urethra via a small incision in the vagina. The tape supports the urethra during coughing and exercise to prevent leakage of urine. The decision as to which procedure is performed depends on the individual anatomy and is made at the time of the operation. Success rates vary, between 82% and 96% of patients reporting freedom from stress incontinence.
There is a minimal hospital stay with patients often returning home on the same day. A small number of patients may have difficulty passing urine following the procedure. This normally settles after a short period with a catheter.