Tension-free Vaginal Tape Sling Procedure

Purpose of the surgery

The tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) procedure is designed to provide support for a sagging urethra so that when you cough or move vigorously or suddenly, the urethra can remain closed with no accidental release of urine.

The procedure

In TVT surgery, a mesh-like tape is placed under your urethra like a sling or hammock to keep it in its normal position. The tape is inserted through tiny incisions in your abdomen and vaginal wall. No sutures are required to hold the tape in place. TVT surgery takes approximately 30 minutes and may be done under local anesthesia so you can cough at the surgeon's request to test the tape's support of your urethra.

Tension-free vaginal tape is used to correct stress incontinence caused by sagging of the urethra. It is a relatively simple procedure that can be done with minimal hospitalization and recovery time. In addition, TVT has been shown to be effective in relieving stress incontinence in women who are obese and have increased pressure on the bladder and urethra.

This surgery can be an effective and relatively noninvasive treatment for stress incontinence. A recent study reported a cure rate between 85% and 87%, with an additional 4.5% to 7% of participants reporting improvement in symptoms.

It also appears to be a safe and effective treatment for obese women with stress incontinence. One study reports that 89% of obese women who had TVT surgery were cured of stress incontinence, while 11% experienced improvement in their symptoms.