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Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Jan;87(1):50-4.

Postoperative catheterization, urinary retention, and permanent voiding dysfunction after polytetrafluroethylene suburethral sling placement.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.



To determine the incidence of permanent voiding dysfunction after polytetrafluoroethylene suburethral sling placement, and to assess the effect of voiding mechanism and uroflowmetry on the duration of postoperative catheterization.


Between January 1986 and April 1991, 108 patients underwent suburethral sling procedures to treat genuine stress incontinence. Medical records were reviewed to collect urodynamic and catheterization data. One year or longer after surgery, 98 women completed a telephone interview evaluating incontinence, self-catheterization, and voiding symptoms.


The mean duration of postoperative cathtrerization was 10.7 weeks. There was no significant relationship between preoperative uroflow indices and the duration of catheterization. The presence of a preoperative detrusor contraction was associated with a shorter mean duration of postoperative catheterization (6.1 versus 14.8 weeks, P = .07) and a lower risk of sling removal for retention (7 versus 33%, P = .04). Eight patients continued self-catheterization. Fourteen patients reported other micturition problems: three used the Credé maneuver or double voided to facilitate emptying and 11 were unable to urinate when seated upright. There was no correlation between the duration of catheterization and ongoing voiding dysfunction. Among nine women who underwent further surgery to treat postoperative urinary retention, three continue to catheterize, one performs Credé, and one urinates standing.


Polytetrafluoroethylene suburethral sling placement commonly produces permanent voiding difficulty. Patients who void without a detrusor contraction are at increased risk for prolonged postoperative catheterization. Sling removal does not ensure resolution of urinary retention and may be no better than leaving the sling in place.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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