Consultants who perform this procedure
Why would I need a laparoscopic colposuspension?
Over time, the muscles that our body uses to prevent involuntary urinary leakage during exertion become damaged or weakened, which can lead to a condition called stress urinary incontinence. If you have stress urinary incontinence, you find that you leak urine at certain times (for example, when you sneeze, run, cough or laugh).
What symptoms does a laparoscopic colposuspension address?
After undergoing laparoscopic colposuspension, most women find that their symptoms are significantly improved.
When should you speak to your specialist about a laparoscopic colposuspension?
If your specialist has diagnosed you with stress urinary incontinence, and you find that the condition is negatively affecting your day-to-day life, you might consider speaking to them about the possibility of undergoing treatments which include a laparoscopic colposuspension.
How is a laparoscopic colposuspension performed?
Laparoscopic colposuspension takes approximately 1-2 hours and is carried out under a general anaesthetic.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make approximately four small incisions into your lower abdominal area and will insert a small tube affixed with a camera and other instruments that they will use to lift and support the base of the bladder using stitches.
What is the recovery for a laparoscopic colposuspension?
The recovery from a laparoscopic colposuspension can depend on a variety of factors, and you should discuss this with your surgeon.
You will likely need to remain in hospital for a few days following your laparoscopic colposuspension. You will have a catheter that might be removed while you are still in hospital, or a few days after you have returned home, depending on your progress.
It can take up to six weeks after surgery before you can resume your regular day-to-day activities.
You and your surgeon will discuss your plan for recovery and can give you more specific information about what you can expect afterwards prior to your laparoscopic colposuspension.
Are there any risks/complications associated with a laparoscopic colposuspension?
As with any medical procedure, it is possible for risks or complications to arise. It is best that you speak with your specialist or surgeon about how best to avoid any adverse reactions.
Some complications that have been associated with the procedure are:
- Blood clot
- The possibility of making a larger cut in the abdomen during the operation
- Damage to surrounding structures (bowel, bladder, ureters)
- Problems emptying your bladder (and needing to use a catheter)
- Bladder becomes overactive, and you need to go to the toilet more often
- Vaginal prolapse
- Pain during sex
- The operation doesn’t fix your stress urinary incontinence
- Issues with internal stitches (wearing through to the bladder or vaginal wall)
How can I prepare for a laparoscopic colposuspension?
Prior to your laparoscopic colposuspension, you should discuss the preparations you should make with your surgeon, as they can vary depending on the person.
You will generally require a special test called urodynamics to help confirm your diagnosis
You will attend a pre-assessment appointment, where it will be determined whether you are fit to undergo surgery. Here you can discuss any questions you might have about the procedure and your recovery with your healthcare team.
Are there alternatives for a laparoscopic colposuspension?
There are alternatives that you might consider rather than undergoing a laparoscopic colposuspension, including:
- Physiotherapy (specifically targeted to your pelvic floor)
- A continence pessary
- Losing weight
- A different type of surgery
- Sling surgery using your own tissue
- Artificial urinary sphincter
- Urethral bulking agents