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J Urol. 2000 Jun;163(6):1845-8.

Pubovaginal sling: 4-YEAR outcome analysis and quality of life assessment.

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Department of Urology, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.



Stress urinary incontinence is a common disease with a devastating impact on patient quality of life. Needle suspension procedures, which produce disappointing long-term results for type II stress incontinence, are being replaced by pubovaginal slings which previously were reserved solely for the treatment of type III stress incontinence. We report the long-term outcomes of pubovaginal slings for the treatment of types II and III stress urinary incontinence, and assess its quality of life impact.


From January 1993 until December 1996, 247 females 10 to 84 years old (mean age 54.5) with type II (54%) or III (46%) stress urinary incontinence diagnosed by fluoroscopic urodynamics received a pubovaginal sling. Concomitant urge incontinence was present in 109 patients (44%). Quality of life was assessed with the Urogenital Distress Inventory short form.


At a mean followup of 51 months (range 22 to 68) the continence rates were 88% overall, 91% for type II and 84% for type III. Preoperative urge incontinence resolved in 81 of 109 patients (74%), while de novo urge incontinence developed in 10 (7%). Intermittent urethral catheterization duration averaged 8.4 days, with 5 women undergoing urethrolysis for a hypersuspended urethra. Secondary procedures were required in 9 patients with type II and 5 with type III incontinence, and included transurethral collagen injections in 6 and repeat pubovaginal slings in 8. There was a 4% complication rate due to pelvic hematoma in 2 cases, incisional hernia in 2, deep venous thrombosis in 1 and pulmonary embolus in 1. Of the 247 patients 235 (95%) completed the quality of life questionnaire with 92% reporting a high degree of satisfaction with low (less than 20 of 100 points) symptom distress scores.


Pubovaginal slings are effective and durable, and significantly improve quality of life in patients with types II and III stress urinary incontinence.

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