Tension-free vaginal tape surgery, also called trans-vaginal tape surgery, is a procedure sometimes used to treat stress urinary incontinence in women. The recovery time for this surgery varies, but general guidelines for activity -- including exercise -- do exist. Remember, every situation is different, and you should follow your doctor's instructions for recovery.
Leaving the Hospital
According to Dr. John J. Bauer, most women will spend one to two hours in recovery after surgery but will be able to return home that night. In some cases, a woman might be asked to remain in the hospital for one night following her surgery. According to Dr. Robert MacDermott, a patient will be allowed to go home once her nurse has ascertained that her vaginal bleeding and any discomfort are under control, and she is able to properly urinate.
Bauer recommends that a woman return to light exercise almost immediately and encourages light exercise, such as walking, several times each day. Johnson County Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that a patient do kegel exercises several times a day to strengthen the pelvic and vaginal muscles. Light exercise should not cause fatigue or discomfort; if this occurs, scale back your exercise regimen and increase it gradually.
Moderate or Heavy Exercise
Most authorities agree that a woman should wait several weeks before once again engaging in moderate or heavy exercise. Hertfordshire Gynecology recommends waiting a minimum of two weeks before swimming and waiting for at least four weeks before running for exercise. MacDermott recommends waiting six weeks before playing strenuous sports. Any kind of strength training should be avoided; do not lift items heavier than 10 or 15 pounds for four to six weeks.
The time needed to make a full recovery varies by patient. According to Hertfordshire Gynecology, most patients return to work within two weeks of surgery; recovery time will be longer for women who have jobs requiring heavy lifting or long periods of time standing. By the time a patient is able to engage in sexual activity, approximately six weeks after surgery, she has made a complete recovery.