Female Incontinence Surgery

Incontinence surgery is an option for female patients with anatomical problems such as pelvic prolapse or for women who do not respond to treatment with medication.

Whether using an open or robotic approach to incontinence or pelvic floor surgery, the goal of the procedure is to restore natural anatomic structures and allow for improved continence.

There are three surgical options for the treatment of female urinary incontinence:

  • Sling Procedure: A sling procedure is a minimally invasive surgery that uses strips of material to create a sling around the bladder and urethra. The sling device keeps consistent pressure on the urethra, which remains closed until intentionally voiding. The sling procedure is the most common surgical procedure used to treat stress incontinence due to its high rate of efficacy and low complication rates.
  • Bladder Suspension Surgery: Bladder suspension surgery, or bladder neck suspension, is a procedure used to provide support for the urethra and the bladder neck, the muscle that connects the urethra to the bladder. During the procedure the surgeon will use stitches to reinforce the urethra and bladder neck. Bladder suspension surgery involves an abdominal incision and is a more invasive form of incontinence surgery than the sling procedure. Some patients will require use of a catheter during the initial stages of the recovery period, which lasts approximately six weeks.
  • Artificial Urinary Sphincter: An artificial urinary sphincter is an implanted device which compresses the patient’s urethra to keep it closed when not intentionally voiding. During this procedure, a cuff, which is controlled by an implanted pump, is placed around the urethra to prevent urine from leaking.

Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Emory Gynecology and Obstetrics offers comprehensive evaluation, management, and treatment options for female urinary and pelvic floor dysfunctions. Our physicians provide specialized expertise in the treatment of women with pelvic floor disorders.