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Retropubic suspension is surgery to treat stress urinary incontinence in women. The surgery lifts the sagging bladder and urethra and supports them in their normal positions. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. After surgery for urinary incontinence, you may feel weak and tired for several days. You will probably feel some pain or cramping in your lower belly and need pain medicine for a week or two. You may feel like you need to urinate more often, and your urine may be pink. This usually gets better 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
You will have a tube (catheter) in place to drain urine from your bladder. Your doctor will remove the catheter when it is no longer needed.
You should have less or no urine leakage when you sneeze, cough, laugh, or exercise. In fact, at first you may find that it is harder than usual to empty your bladder. This usually gets better 1 to 2 weeks after the catheter is removed.
You will probably be able to go back to work and most of your usual activities in 1 to 2 weeks. But you may need 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover. Try to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities that might put extra pressure on your bladder while you recover.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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