Medical Q&As

Stress incontinence - TVT procedure?

Have you heard of a procedure called TVT in helping with stress incontinence? How does it work?

TVT stands for tension-free vaginal tape and is a very promising new treatment for stress incontinence. The procedure involves the insertion of a special tape under the midpoint of the urethra. General anaesthesia is not necessary for the procedure since adequate anaesthesia can be achieved with a local anaesthetic. The tape is fed through a number of small incisions in the vagina and pubic area and keeps the urethra suspended in the correct anatomical position. During the procedure the gynaecologist asks the patient to cough and if any leakage of urine occurs the tape can be adjusted further. Therefore the woman undergoing the operation is aware of the effectiveness of the suspension before the operation is completed. This new procedure is considerably less invasive than the more traditional suspension procedures such as the Burch suspension and Marshall-Marchetti repair. It can be performed under local anaesthesia and most patients are able to go home within 24 hours of the procedure being performed.