What does male sling surgery entail?

Prior to surgery, your physician may ask you to have a urodynamic study (testing to assess urinary tract function), complete a 24-hour pad test (to identify the number of pads used and volume of urine leaked), or look inside your bladder (cystoscopy).

The male sling procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis; however, in some cases, patients are kept in the hospital or surgicenter unit for 23 hours. The sling support or suspension requires permanent sutures in the perineum and may create some pain in the immediate post-operative period. Incisions are made through the perineal tissue (i.e., the urogenital area) to reach the surgical target -- the positioning of a supportive sling (a mesh-like surgical tape) around part of the urethral bulb (the descending tube-like structure of the bladder). By wrapping the surgical tape around the urethral bulb, the sling gently and slightly moves the urethra into a new position that has been shown in and of itself as a method of overcoming urinary incontinence.

Some patients undergoing the procedure have been cured of their urinary incontinence; others have improved (decreasing their daily pad usage).

What happens prior to male sling surgery?

If required, you may be asked to see your family physician or anesthesiologist for a preoperative check up. If necessary, they will do an EKG, blood workup, chest x-ray, and urine tests.

  • DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR ANY BLOOD THINNING MEDICATIONS 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO SURGERY. This includes medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin®; Advil®); naproxen (Aleve®); and clopidogrel (Plavix®). If necessary, you can take Tylenol® for headaches or pain. Any other medication such as antibiotics, high blood pressure medications, hormone pills, and heart medications should be continued unless otherwise specified.
  • DIET: CONSUME ONLY CLEAR LIQUIDS THE NIGHT BEFORE SURGERY. This means anything you can see through, such as broth, juices, and jello. This helps keep the bowel clean at the time of surgery and reduces the risks of contamination.
  • DO NOT EAT OR DRINK ANYTHING AFTER 12 MIDNIGHT THE DAY BEFORE SURGERY. Any medication that must be taken the morning of surgery should be taken with a small sip of water.

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