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Keywords:

  • stress urinary incontinence;
  • tension-free vaginal tape

Abstract

Aim: To assess the safety and efficacy of the use of tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women with mixed incontinence, previous failed incontinence surgery or low valsalva leak point pressure (VLPP).

Methods: Six hundred and fifty-eight women with SUI underwent the TVT procedure. These included women with mixed stress and urge incontinence (n = 128), previous surgery for SUI (n = 118), low VLPP (n = 80), and those over 70 years old (n = 68). The procedure was carried out under spinal anesthetic and operative and immediate postoperative data was collected for all women. Six-month follow-up data was available on 454 women, with the first 300 women completing a quality of life (QOL) questionnaire before and after surgery.

Results: The overall subjective cure rate at 6 months was 91%, with 8% of women reporting significant (>50%) improvement in their symptoms. Subgroups with a body mass index > 30, age > 70 years, coexisting instability, previous failed surgery, and low VLPP showed cure rates of 81–89%. QOL improvements for all groups were highly significant. Significant complications included voiding difficulties in 29 women (4.4%), retropubic hematomas in four (0.6%), and thromboembolic episodes in three (0.5%).

Conclusion: The simplicity and high efficacy of the TVT makes it the first choice for the treatment of women with SUI, including those with more complex problems or coexisting risk factors.