Open Retropubic Suspension: Before Your Surgery
What is retropubic suspension surgery?
Retropubic suspension treats stress urinary incontinence in women. The surgery lifts the sagging bladder and urethra. Then it supports them in their normal positions in the pelvis. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body.
In open surgery, a doctor makes a cut in your lower belly. This cut is called an incision. The doctor will attach the bladder and the urethra to the pubic bone or other tissues. The stitches lift and hold the bladder and urethra in their normal positions. Then the doctor will close the incision with stitches.
You'll have a scar that's about 13 centimetres (5 inches) long. The scar will fade with time.
Most women go home 2 or 3 days after the surgery. You may be able to go back to most of your usual activities in 2 to 4 weeks. But you may need 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover.
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 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.
How do you prepare for surgery?
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Preparing for surgery
- You may need to empty your bowels with an enema or laxative. Your doctor will tell you how to do this.
- Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
What happens on the day of surgery?
Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
Take a bath or shower before you come in for your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.
At the hospital or surgery centre
Bring a picture ID.
The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
The surgery will take about 1 hour.
When should you call your doctor?
- You have questions or concerns.
- You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
- You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
- You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter C871 in the search box to learn more about "Open Retropubic Suspension: Before Your Surgery".
Current as of: November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology