Tension Free Transvaginal Tape (TVT Sling)
How Does TVT Sling Work ?
The GYNECARE TVT Tension-free support for incontinence primarily consists of a mesh-like tape that is surgically inserted through the vagina to support the bladder neck and urethra, the tube through which urine exists the bladder. Ordinarily, the urethra maintains a tight seal to prevent involuntary loss of urine. For women with stress urinary incontinence, a weakened pelvic muscle floor or a defect in the urethral fascia cannot support the urethra in its correct position. If you undergo TVT surgery, your surgeon will restore the normal position of the urethra by weaving or placing a "sling" or mesh tape beneath it. Uniquely, TVT provides support at the middle of the urethra, the section that is under the most strain during normal activities. Placing the TVT in this area, therefore, helps restore this part of the urethra---instrumental to the urination process-- to a more natural position. Unlike other procedures, no bone anchors or sutures are necessary.
TVT Sling Figures 1 and 2
How Does the TVT System Alleviate Stress Urinary Incontinence?
Female SUI is caused by an improperly functioning urethra. Unlike other types of incontinence, SUI is not a problem of the bladder. Normally, the urethra - when properly supported by strong pelvic floor muscles and healthy connective tissue - maintains a tight seal to prevent involuntary loss of urine. When a woman suffers from the most common form of stress urinary incontinence, however, weakened muscle and pelvic tissues are unable to adequately support the urethra in its correct position. As a result, during normal movement as pressure is exerted on the bladder from the diaphragm, the urethra cannot retain its seal, permitting urine to escape.
The TVT system combines the use of a safe material, PROLENEtm polypropylene mesh tape, with a traditional surgical procedure known as the sling, to correct SUI. The mesh is positioned underneath the urethra, creating a supportive sling. When pressure is exerted, such as during a cough or sneeze, the tvt sling tape provides the support needed by the urethra, allowing it to keep its seal.