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Int Urogynecol J. 2018 Nov;29(11):1689-1695. doi: 10.1007/s00192-018-3731-2. Epub 2018 Aug 4.

Trends in prolapse surgery in England.

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Department of Urogynaecology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich, UK.
Department of Urogynaecology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich, UK.



Women have a lifetime risk of undergoing pelvic organ prolapse (POP) surgery of 11-19%. Traditional native tissue repairs are associated with reoperation rates of approximately 11% after 20 years. Surgery with mesh augmentation was introduced to improve anatomic outcomes. However, the use of synthetic meshes in urogynaecological procedures has been scrutinised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by the European Commission (SCENIHR). We aimed to review trends in pelvic organ prolapse (POP) surgery in England.


Data were collected from the national hospital episode statistics database. Procedure and interventions-4 character tables were used to quantify POP operations. Annual reports from 2005 to 2016 were considered.


The total number of POP procedures increased from 2005, reaching a peak in 2014 (N = 29,228). With regard to vaginal prolapse, native tissue repairs represented more than 90% of the procedures, whereas surgical meshes were considered in a few selected cases. The number of sacrospinous ligament fixations (SSLFs) grew more than 3 times over the years, whereas sacrocolpopexy remained stable. To treat vault prolapse, transvaginal surgical meshes have been progressively abandoned. We also noted a steady increase in uterine-sparing, and obliterative procedures.


Following FDA and SCENIHR warnings, a positive trend for meshes has only been seen in uterine-sparing surgery. Native tissue repairs constitute the vast majority of POP operations. SSLFs have been increasingly performed to achieve apical support. Urogynaecologists' training should take into account shifts in surgical practice.


Mesh; Pelvic organ prolapse; Surgery; Trends

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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