Bladder Sling Surgery: What It Is, Effectiveness, and Who Is A Good Candidate.

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What is the Bladder Sling Procedure?

This particular bladder surgery consists of providing support to keep the urethra closed to avoid leaking of the bladder. It’s called a sling because a piece of material creates a support frame between the urethra and the neck of the bladder that resembles, and functions similar to a sling. Various materials can be used to provide this supportive framework, including synthetic and non-synthetic materials (such as bodily tissues). In addition, there are different types of bladder sling procedures and different approaches to the surgery. The type of bladder surgery will depend on the physician, the cause of urinary incontinence, and other unique needs of the patient.

How Effective is this Type of Bladder Surgery?

According to a study performed by the National Insititute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in collaboration with the National Institute of Health, bladder sling surgery is one of the most effective surgical treatments for women opting for bladder control surgery. The women who underwent this particular procedure reported that they were more pleased with the results than patients that had other methods of bladder control surgery. Two years later, during a follow up, the patients that had the sling surgery had significantly less urinary incontinence than the other group as well. Women who have had bladder sling procedures also show a significant decrease in stress incontinence. However, it is important to note that individuals will have different experiences with any type of surgery and that some patients may still have urinary incontinence following any kind of bladder surgery.

Who May Be A Good Candidate for Bladder Sling Surgery?

Women may have bladder surgery for a variety of issues and many factors can affect who should or should not have this procedure. Current health problems, the cause of urinary incontinence, and severity will play a large role in determining if this is the right option for you. Surgery is generally not considered the first option and is for those in which other treatments have not been able to help. The typical patient has moderate to severe urinary incontinence and the cause of the problem is known. Bladder incontinence in women is fairly common, especially during certain times in one’s life, such as pregnancy. Women who suffer from temporary or mild incontinence as a result of certain conditions may not be good candidates for the bladder sling procedure. Make an informed decision, before deciphering if this type of bladder surgery is right for you, discuss the pros and cons with your physician.


The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Education Pamphlet. ACOG 2010. Viewed 13, March 2010.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. National Institute of Health. Sling Surgery Is More Effective Than Burch for Bladder Control in Women. 23, May 2007. Viewed 13, March 2010.