Urethral Sling

A urethral sling, also known as a male sling or a male suburethral sling, is a mesh sling that is surgically attached under your urethra (the tube that transports urine from your bladder through your penis so you can urinate). The sling is designed to support the urethra and put pressure on it, which will prevent leakage.

The urethral sling is used as an incontinence treatment for men who have had prostate surgery. It is most effective in men with mild stress incontinence.

Male Urethral Sling Procedure

The male urethral sling procedure is a minimally-invasive surgery that normally lasts between 30 and 40 minutes. Before surgery, you will either be given a medication through an IV line that will put you to sleep, or you will be given a spinal anesthetic to numb you from the waist down. The sling is placed through two small incisions in the groin area and one small incision behind the scrotum. Once the sling is in place, you do not have to do anything to it for it to work.

After Urethral Sling Surgery

When you get to the recovery room, you will have a urinary catheter in place to drain the urine from your bladder (swelling at the site may make it difficult to urinate). The catheter will be removed before you go home, which will either be the same day or the day after your surgery. Pain medication will be provided as needed.

You should be able to resume your normal activities a few days after your surgery, but you’ll need to avoid heavy lifting, strenuous activity, and sexual intercourse for at least six weeks.

Who Should Not Have Urethral Sling Surgery?

Unfortunately, the male sling is not for everyone. If you have any of the following conditions, the suburethral sling may not be right for you:

  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Immune system disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Urinary tract obstruction

Complications of Urethral Sling Surgery

Male sling complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding at the incision site(s)
  • Excessive bruising or swelling (some swelling and bruising is normal)
  • Urinary retention (inability to urinate)
  • Recurrent leakage
  • Blood clots

For more information on the urethral sling, contact Leroy Jones, MD, urology specialist of San Antonio.