UI Surgery

    Doctors may suggest surgery to improve bladder control if other treatments have failed.

    Surgery helps stress urinary incontinence. The best surgical procedures improve or cure the incontinence associated with coughing, laughing, sneezing, and exercise in about 85% of women.  However, the success rate for mixed incontinence, a combination of stress and urge incontinence, is lower. The reason is that current surgical procedures are not designed to treat the urge incontinence component.

    Experts recommend you consider surgery for UI only if:

    • Incontinence symptoms are bothersome.
    • Your doctor confirmed the diagnosis of stress incontinence using bladder testing.
    • Non-surgical treatments failed to provide relief of symptoms.
    • The benefits of surgery are expected to be greater than the possible risks.

    Talk with your doctor about the benefits, risks, after-care requirements, and long-term considerations of surgery. You may also want to seek a second opinion from a pelvic floor disorder expert such as an urogyn. Find a urogynecologist in your area.

    Preparing for Surgery

    Surgery is a major decision you must make with your physician. Also, consider getting a second opinion before going forward with a surgical procedure.

    Want help preparing for surgery?  This tool provides:

    • Questions to ask your doctor during your pre-op visit.
    • An overview of what you can expect when preparing for surgery.
    • General recommendations for how you can prepare for surgery.  

    Speak with your surgeon—find out if these recommendations are appropriate for you.Learn more:


    Original publication date: May 2008; Content Updated: November 2014

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