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Urinary incontinence after surgery for pelvic organ prolapse


  • Heinz Koelbl led the peer-review process as the Associate Editor responsible for the paper.

  • Conflict of interest: Dr. Milani has a consultancy agreement with Ethicon Women's Health & Urology. Dr. Withagen and Milani are on the speaker's bureau of Ethicon Women's Health and Urology. Dr. Withagen and Vierhout received an unrestricted educational grant from Ethicon Women's Health and Urology. The other authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.



This study focused on the changes in urinary incontinence (UI) rates pre- and postoperatively and identified risk factors which predict the presence of symptoms of urgency urinary incontinence (UUI) or stress urinary incontinence (SUI) after surgery for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) without concomitant or previous anti-incontinence surgery.


All consecutive women who underwent POP surgery without concomitant or previous anti-incontinence surgery in the years 2004–2010 were included. Assessments were performed preoperatively and at 1-year follow-up, including pelvic organ prolapse quantification score and a standardized urogynecological questionnaire (Urogenital Distress Inventory, UDI). Primary outcome of this study was stress and/or urgency UI postoperatively. Furthermore, this study measured the improvement or worsening of UI following surgery using the UDI. Univariable- and multivariable logistic regression with forward selection procedure was used to identify the risk factors.


Nine hundred seven patients were included. De novo SUI appeared in 22% and de novo UUI occurred in 21% of the women. At 1-year 42% were cured for UUI and 39% were recovered from SUI by POP surgery alone. The best predictor for the occurrence of postoperative SUI or UUI was the presence of preoperative SUI or UUI. BMI and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were identified as independent risk factors for postoperative SUI. A recurrence in the anterior compartment protected against SUI postoperatively.


Preoperative SUI or UUI is the most important predictor of SUI and UUI postoperatively. BMI and COPD were identified as important risk factors for SUI. Neurourol. Urodynam. 32: 455–459, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.