Sling Procedures for Incontinence

Sling Procedures for Incontinence

WomanCare Clinic

Meriter WomanCare Clinic
20 S. Park Street, Suite 450
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 417-5433 or 1-888-409-3852

UW Health - OB/GYN
20 S. Park Street, Suite 307
Madison, WI 53715
Telephone: (608) 287-2830


A sling procedure for incontinence is a surgical procedure that uses a sling made of mesh to help support the urethra and to prevent accidental urination. 

Alternative Medical Names

  • Tension-Free Sling
  • Trans Vaginal Suburethral Sling

A sling procedure is recommended for women who have:

  • Stress Urinary Incontinence
  • Involuntary, accidental urination
  • Weak pelvic muscles
  • Decided they are done having children

Benefits of the Procedure

  • Supports the urethra
  • Low amount of post operative pain
  • Safe treatment for stress urinary incontinence
  • Short operation time
  • Small incision and no exit incisions

What is a Sling Procedure for Incontinence?

A sling procedure for incontinence is performed to treat stress urinary incontinence. The procedure is used when the urethra has lost its support and dropped out of place, or when the sphincter muscle of the urethra is weak. The urethra then needs to be repositioned.

The doctor will restore the normal position of the urethra by surgically inserting a sling, made of mesh, through a small incision in the vagina. The vaginal sling is held in place by friction between mesh and the scar tissue that the body will continue to form after surgery. The extra mesh is trimmed, and the incisions are closed with stitches.

For women who have stress urinary incontinence, their urethra can’t maintain a tight seal, which leads to involuntary loss of urine. The sling procedure provides support to the middle of the urethra, the section that is under the most strain during physical activities. The sling supports the urethra as it receives pressure from the abdomen, and also helps the internal sphincter muscles keep the urethra closed during coughing, laughing, sneezing, and jogging.

In most cases, women can urinate without any problem immediately after the procedure, and they can leave the hospital the day of surgery.

Women who have this procedure are at a slight risk of:

  • Infection
  • Injuring their bladder, bowel or abdominal wall
  • Having pain in the vagina