What tests are done before the male sling procedure?

Before surgery, your doctor may ask you to have a few tests. These tests may include:

  • A urodynamic study (testing to assess urinary tract function)
  • A 24-hour pad test (to identify the number of pads used and amount of liquid leaked)
  • A cystoscopy (a look inside your bladder)

What happens before the male sling procedure?

Before surgery, you may be asked to see your family physician or anesthesiologist for a preoperative checkup. If necessary, your doctor will do a few tests. These tests could include:

You may also be asked to follow a few rules before surgery. These include:

  • Do not take Aspirin or any blood thinning medications two weeks before 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.
  • Only consume clear liquids the night before surgery. This means anything you can see through, such as broth, juices and Jell-O. This helps keep the bowel clean at the time of surgery and reduces the risks of contamination.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before surgery. Any medication that must be taken the morning of surgery should be taken with a small sip of water.

How is the male sling procedure done?

During the male sling procedure, an incision is made through the perineal tissue (the area between the scrotum and anus). The surgeon will then expose the urethra and use a supportive sling (a mesh-like surgical tape) around part of the urethral bulb that covers the most upper part of the urethra close to where it enters the area of the urethral sphincter. By wrapping the surgical tape around the urethral bulb, the sling gently moves the urethra into a new position and increases resistance in this area. This lends support to the bladder neck. This procedure has been shown to help with mild to moderate urinary incontinence, and is most commonly used after radical prostatectomy.

The male sling procedure is usually performed as an outpatient surgery. However, there are some cases where patients will need to stay in the hospital overnight after surgery. The sling support requires absorbable sutures (stitches) in the perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus). This may cause some pain right after surgery, but overall, the amount of pain is usually mild and well tolerated.

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