TVT and TOT Tape Surgery
What is it?
TVT (tension-free vaginal tape) and TOT (transobturator tape) procedures are used to lift a woman’s sagging bladder or urethra into normal position. The procedures place a narrow band of tape under the urethra. The tape supports the urethra and bladder like a hammock.
Why do need it?
Your doctor may recommend a TVT or TOT procedure totreat stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is when extra pressure on your full bladder — for example, pressure from an activity like coughing, sneezing, laughing, running, or lifting — causes you to leak urine. The leakage stops when the activity stops. Stress incontinence is fairly common among women. It’s caused by weakness in the muscles and tissues that surround the bladder and urethra. The weakness prevents the urethra from closing, so urine leaks out. The support provided by TVT or TOT can often relieve or correct this leakage.
How is it done?
TVT and TOT procedures are called minimally invasive because unlike “open” surgeries, they require only very small incisions (cuts) in the groin, lower abdomen, and vagina. During the procedure, the surgeon passes the tape — a narrow band of synthetic material — through these cuts, slinging it around the urethra to lift and support the urethra and bladder. The surgeon adjusts the tape during surgery to provide the right amount of support. After the surgery the tape stays in place. The tape is held in place by friction between the tape and the surrounding tissues, and the tape does not protrude outside your body.The small stitches that close the incisions slowly dissolve in the days after the procedure.
Risks and potential complications of TVT and TOT procedure
- • Bladder that is slow to empty (usually only a temporary effect, but if needed may be helped by loosening the tape around the urethra)
- • Blood clots in the veins or lungs
- • Infection in the urinary tract, or at the site of the incision or stitches
- • Bleeding during or after surgery
- • Injury to the urethra, ureters, bladder, vagina, or surrounding nerves
- • Problems related to anesthesia
- • The body may reject the tape material, or the material may wear away the tissue of the urethra or vagina