Bladder and urethral repair - series

This content will no longer be available as of 10/11

Stay tuned for improvements we're making to our Health Information section.

Bladder and urethral repair - series

Normal anatomy

Stress incontinence is the involuntary leakage of urine when laughing, coughing, sneezing, or lifting. It can result from damage to the urethra, bladder, and supporting muscle and tissues, caused by multiple births, menopause, or other problems.

Bladder and urethral repair may be recommended to prevent urine leakage associated with stress incontinence.


While the patient is deeply asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia), the surgeon elevates the bladder neck (pubococcygeal muscle) by stitching it and the urethra to the anterior (front) pubic bone.

After surgery, the patient will have a urinary catheter in place. The urine may initially appear bloody, but this should gradually resolve. The catheter may be removed several days after surgery if the patient is able to completely empty the bladder. Often a suprapubic catheter will need to remain in place for as long as 3 months, depending on the person's ability to empty the bladder completely.


The amount of time it takes to recover from surgery depends on the individual.

Review Date: 1/18/2013

Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Senior Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital.

A.D.A.M. qualityA.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorousstandards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information andservices. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorialpolicy, editorialprocess, and privacypolicy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatmentof any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication ordistribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.