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Urology. 2018 Oct;120:267. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2018.07.004. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Translabial Ultrasound Evaluation of Pelvic Floor Structures and Mesh in the Urology Office and Intraoperative Setting.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Loma Linda University Health, Loma Linda, CA.
2
Department of Urology, Loma Linda University Health, Loma Linda, CA. Electronic address: juliewcheng@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Translabial ultrasound (TUS) can provide an inexpensive alternative imaging modality for evaluating pelvic floor structures and synthetic slings as mesh can be difficult to identify on pelvic exam or cystoscopy, patients may be unable to provide an accurate history of previous pelvic surgery, and cross-sectional imaging with computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging can be inadequate for evaluating synthetic slings.

OBJECTIVE:

To demonstrate the use of TUS in the evaluation of female pelvic floor structures and mesh.

METHODS:

Translabial ultrasound can be used in the Urology clinic or intraoperative setting using a curvilinear transducer. Following identification of anatomic landmarks in the various planes of the pelvic floor, TUS can evaluate for pelvic floor disorders and the type and location of synthetic mesh material. Artifacts, such as air pockets in the vagina or rectum and the hypoechoic pubic symphysis, are also considered.

RESULTS:

Real-time imaging allows for dynamic examination of pelvic organ prolapse and urethral hypermobility that can contribute to pelvic exam findings. Bladder ultrasound can help evaluate for lesions, calculi, and even mesh erosion. Translabial ultrasound can also be used to differentiate hyperechoic retropubic and transobturator slings by identifying the position of sling arms and the appearance of the sling at different planes. Evaluation with TUS can demonstrate sling disruption, folding, urethral impingement, and erosion into pelvic floor structures. This can be particularly useful in patients presenting with pain, recurrent infections, or voiding dysfunction in which problems with mesh may not be easily identified on pelvic exam or cystoscopy. This imaging modality can complement a patient's history, aid in preoperative planning, and enable intraoperative identification of mesh slings.

CONCLUSION:

Translabial ultrasound provides a quick, readily available, and easy-to-learn imaging modality for evaluating pelvic floor structures and mesh in the office or intraoperative setting.

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