Bladder Lift Surgery

A Guide to Bladder Lift Surgery

Having a problem of incontinence is not only annoying, but also potentially embarrassing, which is why bladder lift surgery is often performed.  A “leaking bladder” can occur for a number of reasons to include growing older, having a baby, and even stress.  No matter the cause, going out in public only to have a dribbling problem when coughing, sneezing, dancing, laughing, or just walking is a horrible experience.

If the condition worsens, people can have a bladder lift surgery performed, which eliminates accidents permanently.  Typically, doctors will first look at all the non-surgical treatments.  Sometimes, medication and exercises such as Kegling work but if the problem continues, surgery is a good solution.  What happens is that tissue inside the vagina weakens and in severe cases, the bladder will actually drop.

For bladder lift surgery, muscle tone inside the vagina is tightened, which strengthens the interior and helps with bladder control.  Then, the bladder is lifted back into normal position.  While there are several different options for bladder lift surgery¸ one of the newest and most innovative is with laser.  The benefit is less bleeding and a more precise result.

Once the bladder lift surgery is complete, a catheter is placed inside the bladder for three to four days, allowing the bladder time to rest and heal.  Usually, the patient would be required to stay in the hospital overnight so the internal tampon inserted after surgery can be removed by medical staff.  Because of advancements with bladder lift surgery, complications are rare or minor.

Once bladder lift surgery is complete, most people feel physically drained, which is to be expected.  To promote healing, patients are provided with specific guidelines to follow and provided with information on what to expect, which includes:

  • No lifting for a period of three months
  • A yellow or red discharge is expected for about four to six months
  • Sexual intercourse should be avoided for a full six weeks

As mentioned, complications associated with bladder lift surgery are rare but because this is still surgery, patients need to understand potential risks.  The most common occurrences include the following:

  • Cystitis – This type of infection is the most common of all complications, which increases when a catheter was inserted.  Antibiotics are prescribed to bring the infection under control.
  • Bleeding – If bleeding occurs after bladder lift surgery, it would typically be shortly after surgery but if bleeding happens later or becomes serious at any point, additional surgery may be required to cauterize and bring the bleeding under control.
  • Difficulty Voiding – On rare occasions after having bladder lift surgery, the patient might have trouble emptying the bladder but this is usually temporary.  If the problem continues, doctors can put the catheter back in and prescribe medication to help the natural reflect associated with urination.
  • Hypertrophic Scarring – Scarring with bladder lift surgery is expected but sometimes, severe problems with scarring can develop, which would need to be corrected by the surgeon.  Usually, scarring will take a year or more to fade, with the scar actually becoming worse before it gets better.

In most cases, bladder lift surgery is an easy procedure that produces great results and with few risks but patients need to understand that following the doctor’s advice will shorten healing time and produce the desired results.  Most importantly, the doctor should be board certified and patients need to conduct research before making the decision to go through bladder lift surgery.