Preparing for Treatment

Making Your Decision

Are there any risks? Every surgical procedure carries some risk. You may experience an increase in the need to urinate or your urine flow may be slower. You may also not be able to urinate naturally following the procedure. This result may be temporary but it may last a month or longer. If this occurs, you may need to have a catheter inserted to help you urinate or you may need another operation. You may have a reaction to the sling material itself which may require full or partial sling removal. Another potential complication is infection which may require treatment with antibiotics. You should ask your doctor to discuss all these matters with you, as well as any other potential risks and complications.

Treatment through the use of a bulking agent should not be performed if there is inflammation of the bladder or urethra or you have another infection. Treatment may be considered once the infection has healed. Narrowing of the bladder neck or urethra is called stricture. If you have strictures when treated, you may be unable to pass urine. Bulking agent safety and effectiveness has not been evaluated in women who are pregnant or in women who have become pregnant after treatment. Conditions/symptoms such as urinary tract infection, retention of urine, urgency to urinate, painful urination and blood in the urine are common and expected events following treatment with bulking agents.  Six out of ten patients will experience mild and brief (less than 24 hours) symptoms.

Ask your surgeon or doctor these questions before you agree to have surgery in which surgical mesh will be used:

  1. Why do you think I am a good candidate for surgical mesh?
  2. Why is surgical mesh being chosen for my repair?
  3. Are you planning to use mesh in my surgery?
  4. What are the alternatives to surgical mesh repair, including non-surgical options?
  5. What are the pros and cons of using surgical mesh in my particular case?
  6. How likely is it that my repair could be successfully performed without using surgical mesh?
  7. Will my partner be able to feel the surgical mesh during sexual intercourse?
  8. What if the surgical mesh erodes through my vaginal wall?
  9. If surgical mesh is to be used, how often have you implanted this particular product?
  10. What results have your other patients had with this product?
  11. What can I expect to feel after surgery and for how long?
  12. Which specific side effects should I report to you after the surgery?
  13. What if the mesh surgery doesn’t correct my problem?
  14. If I develop a complication, will you treat it or will I be referred to a specialist experienced with surgical mesh complications?
  15. If I have a complication related to the surgical mesh, how likely is it that the surgical mesh could be removed and what could be the consequences?
  16. Request patient information about your recommended treatment.