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Posted by on Oct 26, 2018 in Urinary incontinence | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at the long-term effectiveness of vaginal slings to treat women who have stress urinary incontinence. It concluded that the sling was still working 17 years after the procedure. 

Some background

Stress incontinence is urine leakage when there is pressure on the bladder. It is often observed when a patient coughs, sneezes, or exercises. Stress incontinence happens as a result of weak muscles around the bladder that hold urine in.

Urinary incontinence can be treated by pelvic floor exercises, drug therapy, pessaries (to support the walls of the bladder) or nerve stimulation. Surgery can also be an option when these treatments do not work.

Tension free vaginal (TVT) procedures are used for stress incontinence. Most stress incontinence problems are caused by bladder neck weakness. In TVT surgeons insert a 'sling' which then supports the bladder neck and stops urine leakage.

Methods & findings

56 patients were included in the study. These patients had a vaginal sling 17 years previously. All of the women were diagnosed with stress urinary incontinence. All of the women had their surgeries performed by the same surgeon. Patients had a reproductive system exam and a urinary function exam. Patients also filled out a questionnaire on procedure satisfaction. Patients were assessed for urine leaks with a cough test. Patients also reported urine leaks when they were coughing, sneezing or lifting a weighted object.

The sling was still effective in the majority of patients. Approximately 13% of patients suffered from urine leaks again. Two patients suffered a recurring urinary tract infection Two patients had surgery to correct a protruding rectum or bladder in the vaginal wall. Approximately 18% of patients had difficulty in emptying their bladder. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that the sling was still effective 17 years after it was implanted. 

The fine print

The authors note that only one questionnaire used in the study was validated. This may affect the study's results. 

What’s next?

If you are interested in learning more about vaginal slings for stress urinary incontinence, contact your doctor. 

Published By :

International urogynecology journal

Date :

Jul 07, 2018

Original Title :

Assessment of the long-term outcome of TVT procedure for stress urinary incontinence in a female population: results at 17 years’ follow-up.

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