TVT-O is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for women with stress urinary incontinence. Your surgeon will insert a supportive sling or ribbon-like strip under your urethra to stop urine leakage with coughing or sneezing. The supportive sling is inserted through a small incision in the vaginal area and two small incisions in your inner thighs. This procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete. The recovery period following this procedure is short and most women experience few complications.

How will I feel after my surgery?

  • You may feel slightly nauseated after surgery.
  • You may feel light-headed, dizzy or sleepy for 24 hours after an anaesthetic.
  • It is normal to have a slightly red, swollen incision.
  • It is normal to have a small amount of oozing from pink to dark red from your incision.
  • You may feel backache, upper leg-thigh ache.

After your Procedure

  • A catheter is inserted in the Operating Room and will be removed before you go to the Recovery Room.
  • Many women urinate without difficulty following the procedure.
  • If you have not urinated on your own 4 hours following surgery, a catheter may be inserted. If the measured volume of urine is more than 200ml, you will be discharged home with the catheter in place.
  • The catheter is attached to a collection bag. Nursing staff will instruct you how to empty it.
  • If you go home with a catheter, a homecare nurse will visit your home within 24 hours and will remove the catheter. The nurse will monitor whether you are able to urinate. Until your ability to urinate returns to normal the nurse may teach you how to manage and properly insert a catheter yourself (self-catheterization.)

Incision Care

  • For comfort, you may apply ice compresses to your perineal/vaginal area for 10 minutes at a time during the first 24 hours after surgery.
  • Showers only. No bath, hot tub, whirlpool, or swimming, for 1-2 weeks after your surgery.
  • You may experience slight vaginal discharge after the procedure.

Catheter Care (if required)

  • Do not attempt to remove the catheter or drainage tubing.
  • Avoid kinking or pulling on the catheter or drainage bag.
  • Avoid lifting the drainage bag above the level of the bladder.

Pain and Medication

  • You may experience upper thigh pain.
  • Take the pain medication that is prescribed by your surgeon, as needed.
  • Resume your regular medications as soon as possible.


  • If diabetic, follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding diet and medication.
  • Maintain a normal fluid intake. There is no need to increase your fluids after surgery.

Activity and Exercise

  • Avoid any heavy lifting (no greater than 10 lbs) or strenuous activity for 4 weeks.
  • Refrain from sexual intercourse for 6 weeks (or until advised by your surgeon.)
  • Check with your surgeon regarding return to work.

Follow Up Care

  • Call for a follow up appointment with your surgeon within 1 week of your surgery.

You must call your surgeon/physician or go to the nearest Emergency Department if you have any of the following:

  • If you cannot urinate or empty your bladder
  • Chills or fever over 38°C or 101°F
  • Excessive bleeding, drainage or a foul smell from your incision sites and/or vaginal area
  • Intense pain in the lower abdominal or bladder area
  • Cloudy urine or a persistent burning sensation when urinating, 3-4 days after the removal of the catheter
  • Blood in your urine after 24 hours
  • Pain that is unrelieved by pain medication
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