What Is TVT(Tension-Free Vaginal Tape)?

A tension-free vaginal tape is an operation used in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence. In this procedure, a synthetic tape is placed around the urethra to form a sling – this supports the urethra to prevent leakage.


A tension-free vaginal tape operation is performed under general anaesthesia, and is usually a day case or overnight stay:

  • The bladder is catheterised
  • A local anaesthetic is inserted into the anterior vaginal wall over the area of the mid-urethra
  • A small incision is made in the anterior vaginal wall, and tissue is dissected on either side of the urethra
  • A mounted catheter is inserted into the bladder to manipulate the bladder during tape insertion
  • A rigid metal catheter guide is placed into the area where the tissue was dissected (either right or left side first)
  • The needle with the tape attached to it is inserted into the dissected tissue along with the metal catheter guide and is inserted through the retropubic space along the back of the pubic symphysis
  • The needle will emerge suprapubically onto the abdomen
  • The same is repeated on the other side
  • The mounted catheter is then removed. Cystoscopy is performed to check there is no bladder perforation
  • The tape is then adjusted bilaterally, ensuring that it is not too tight over the mid-urethra
  • The incision on the anterior vaginal wall is closed up with