Pubovaginal Sling - Home Care Instructions
This handout gives you information about caring for yourself at home after your surgery. if you have any questions, be sure to ask your nurse or doctor.
What is a pubovaginal sling?
You have noticed that you may leak urine when you cough, strain, or sneeze (incontinence). As a result of pregnancy, childbirth, and/or aging, the support for your bladder has been lost. This surgery repairs the support and prevents urine leaks.
(a) normal bladder support
(b) bladder before surgery
(c) after surgery
Using some of your own abdominal tissue (fascia), a sling is placed under the urine tube (urethra) and the bladder neck. this creates a hammock effect that squeezes the urethra shut when you cough, sneeze or strain.
What to Expect after Surgery
- You will be in the hospital for 1-2 days.
- It is normal to feel some pain in the surgical area for 1 to 3 weeks after surgery. You will have pain medicine prescribed for you, but you should only need it for the first few days after surgery.
- After the catheter is removed (24-48 hours after surgery), you may feel burning when you urinate, the need to urinate often or an urgent need to urinate. These feelings should go away in a few days.
- You will do clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) after you go home. The length of time you will need to do this will vary. Before you leave the hospital, your nurses will help you to learn how to do this for yourself. Your nurses will teach you how long you will need to do this and how know when it is okay to stop. Please bring a handheld mirror with you on your surgery day. You will be given a handout with instructions for CIC.
- You can expect some vaginal drainage or spotting.
Keep a dry dressing over the abdominal incision until the drainage stops. The dressing should be changed at least once a day or more often if needed. Your nurse will show you how to change the dressing before you go home. You will be given the supplies to use at home. You will have thin tape called Steri-Strips over the incision when you go home. They will begin to loosen at the edges after one week. You may remove them at that time.
- Do not lift more than 10 pounds (1 gallon of milk) for 4 weeks.
- Do not drive a car for 2 weeks or while you take prescription pain medicine.
- Nothing in the vagina for 1 month (e.g. tampons, douches). Sexual intercourse can be resumed after 1 month.
- You may shower after 2 days
- The length of time needed before you can return to work depends on your recovery and the type of work you do. This is usually about 3-4 weeks. Be sure to check with your doctor about when you can return to work and start doing more strenuous activities.
You will have a follow-up visit in the Urology Clinic 1-2 weeks after your surgery.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor if you have any concerns or notice any of these symptoms:
- Incision becomes red, tender or swollen
- Pus-like drainage occurs
- Temperature is above 100°F (by mouth) taken two times 4 hours apart.
- Difficulty urinating
- Blood in your urine
Urology Clinic, Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm: (608) 263-4757
Nights, weekend, and holidays call (608) 262-0486. This is the paging operator. Ask for the urology resident on call. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area please call: 1-800-323-8942.
Your doctor is Dr. Wade Bushman
Your medical record number is ______________________
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #7039.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/14/2010
Copyright © 07/02/2009 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5921
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