Open bladder and urethral surgeries are usually performed to prevent urine leakage that occurs with stress incontinence.
Stress incontinence is an involuntary leakage of urine that occurs when laughing, coughing, sneezing, or lifting. The condition can be caused by deformity or damage to the urethra, bladder, or pelvic muscles. Multiple births and menopause can cause a loss of muscle tone in the bladder area.
The bladder may sag into or outside the vagina. You may feel this during sexual intercourse. You may see the bladder protruding outside of the vagina.
Surgery is done to try and return the bladder and urethra to their normal position. Surgery may require general anesthesia, local anesthesia, or regional (spinal) anesthesia.
There are two common ways of performing stress incontinence surgery: through the abdominal wall or though the vagina. Less invasive approaches, such as through the vagina, have become more popular than traditional open approaches because of their effectiveness.
You may return from surgery with a Foley catheter or a suprapubic catheter in place. The urine may appear bloody at first. This should go away over time. How long the Foley or suprapubic catheter stays in place depends on your ability to completely empty your bladder. It may be removed several days after surgery. In rare cases, it may stay in place for a longer period of time.
Another treatment option uses a tube to view the bladder area (cystoscope) and inject a bulking agent such as collagen into the urethra. Such injections help make the opening of the urethra smaller, which prevents urine loss.