Keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery through the abdomen for treating urinary incontinence in women.
Urinary incontinence is a common and often debilitating problem for many women. Around a third of women of child-bearing age are incontinent during physical exertion or when they cough, laugh or sneeze. When such ‘stress’ incontinence persists despite non-surgical treatment, surgery is often recommended.
Laparoscopic colposuspension is an operation carried out through a small incisionin the abdomen to hold and support the tissues around the neck of the bladder. Women recover more quickly from laparoscopic colposuspension for urinary incontinence than from traditional open surgery, with similar initial improvement. Longer-term success rates may be lower but this is uncertain. However, when laparoscopic colposuspension is compared with newer ‘self-fixing’ sling procedures, it appears that in the short term the sling procedures offer greater benefits of minimal access techniques with similar if not better cure rates.