The pubovaginal sling is a minimally invasive therapy used to treat female stress incontinence, the unwanted leakage of urine that occurs when coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting, or standing cause abdominal pressures to rise. In the 30 minute sling surgery, a small ½ inch incision is made in the vaginal area, and a hammock of durable mesh material is placed under the urine tube (urethra) to support it whenever abdominal pressures rise. This additional support resolves the leakage problem in approximately 90% of patients.
Urologists and other surgical specialists have been repairing prolapses and performing pubovaginal sling procedures for many years with variable results. You may know someone who had a past pelvic repair surgery that just did not hold up over the years.
Importantly, new technological advances have allowed surgeons to give patients a more durable solution. Both polypropylene and Teflon® meshes can now be used to strengthen and help assure the long-term success of these types of repairs. Such mesh materials are designed specifically for vaginal and pelvic surgeries and have properties that prevent them from becoming infected.