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Indian J Urol. 2010 Apr;26(2):279-83. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.65423.

Slings in iatrogenic male incontinence: Current status.

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  • 1Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, San Paolo Hospital, Savona, Italy.



The increasing number of prostatectomies entails an increasing number of patients suffering from iatrogenic incontinence despite improved surgical techniques. The severity of this problem often requires invasive treatments such as periurethral injection of bulking agents, artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) implantation, and sub-urethral sling positioning. The artificial urethral sphincter has represented, until today, the gold standard but, in the recent years, sling systems have been investigated as minimally invasive alternative options. Today, three different sling procedures are commonly performed: bone-anchored, readjustable, and trans-obturator slings systems. The aim of this review is to critically report the current status of sling systems in the treatment of iatrogenic male incontinence.


MEDLINE and PubMed databases were searched and all articles between 1974 and 2009 were evaluated.


With regard to bone-anchored, readjustable, and trans-obturator slings systems, cure rates ranged between 58.0% and 86.0%, 55.5% and 73.0%, and 40.0% and 63.0%, respectively, while major complication rates ranged between 0 and 14.5%, 10.0 and 22.2%, and 0 and 10.0%, respectively.


Suburethral slings are the only alternative techniques which can be favorably compared with the AUS, showing more advantages with respect to AUS implantations which are mainly represented by a quick and less invasive approach, low morbidity, and low costs. In spite of the difficulty in identifying the most effective sling procedure, overall, sling systems can be recommended for patients with persistent mild or moderate incontinence. However, the indication can also be extended to patients with severe incontinence, after appropriate counseling, allowing AUS implantation in the event of sling failure.


Iatrogenic disease; male; suburethral sling; urinary incontinence; urologic surgical procedure

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