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J Urol. 2012 Nov;188(5):1828-32. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.07.040. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Evaluation of endoscopic laser excision of polypropylene mesh/sutures following anti-incontinence procedures.

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Department of Urology, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland.



We reviewed our experience with and outcome of the largest series to our knowledge of patients who underwent endoscopic laser excision of eroded polypropylene mesh or sutures as a complication of previous anti-incontinence procedures.


A total of 12 female patients underwent endoscopic laser excision of suture/mesh erosions at 1 center during a 10-year period. Primary outcome variables were the requirement of additional endoscopic or open surgery to remove mesh/sutures. Secondary outcome variables were persistence of urinary symptoms, postoperative complications, continence status and requirement of additional anti-incontinence procedures.


The mean interval from previous surgery to erosion was 59 months (range 7 to 144) and the duration of presenting symptoms ranged from 3 to 84 months (mean 19). Ten patients underwent endoscopic excision of the mesh/suture with the holmium:YAG laser and 2 underwent excision with the thulium laser. Mean operative duration was 19 minutes (range 10 to 25) and followup was 65.5 months (range 6 to 134). Postoperatively 6 patients remain asymptomatic and 2 required a rectus fascial sling for recurrent stress urinary incontinence. Four patients underwent a second endoscopic excision due to minor persistence of erosion. Only 1 patient ultimately required open cystotomy to remove the eroded biomaterial. No intraoperative complications were recorded and all patients are currently asymptomatic.


Endoscopic laser excision is an acceptable first line approach for the management of eroded biomaterials due to its high long-term success rate and minimally invasive nature.

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