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J Urol. 2003 Aug;170(2 Pt 1):580-1; discussion 581-2.

Transvaginal sling suspension of bladder neck in female patients with neurogenic sphincter incontinence.

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  • 1Pediatric Renal Center, University Children's Hospital UMC Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Many surgical options exist to enhance bladder neck closing pressure in women. Most procedures are relatively large with a success rate of between 70% and 90%. Sling procedures with the sling placed between the anterior vaginal wall and bladder neck cause a risk of traumatic lesions of the bladder neck at operation and of postoperative erosion of the sling into the urethra. We evaluated the results of surgical treatment for neurogenic pelvic floor paralysis in girls with spina bifida by transvaginal rectus abdominis sling suspension.


Between 1991 and 2001 we treated 24 girls with a pubovaginal sling placed through the vagina. Patient age at operation was 1 to 17 years (mean 9). After identification of the bladder neck and anterior vaginal wall 2 small holes were made into the vagina left and right of the bladder neck. The sling was taken through these holes and fixed to the contralateral pubic bone. The sling procedure has been combined with ileocystoplasty, auto-augmentation, a continent catheterizable stoma and ureteral reimplantation when needed.


Of the 24 patients 19 were dry after the initial procedure and 3 others became dry after a total of 4 additional injections of a bulking agent into the bladder neck via suprapubic needle introduction under transurethral endoscopic guidance. A patient underwent bladder neck closure after a vesicovaginal fistula developed from the ileal bladder and another primarily elected bladder neck closure for persistent urinary incontinence. No infectious complications occurred that were related to the procedure. Clean intermittent catheterization was possible in all patients.


Transvaginal sling suspension is safe, relatively easy to perform and cost-effective compared with most alternative procedures. It appears to be as successful as other more complicated procedures to achieve urinary continence in girls with spina bifida.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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