• Hysterectomy;
  • TCRE;
  • urinary incontinence

Objective  To test the hypothesis that the hospital referral rate for urinary incontinence (UI) symptoms, within 10 years of a simple total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) for dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB), would differ to that after a transcervical resection of the endometrium (TCRE).

Design  Retrospective case note review.

Setting  Teaching hospital in north east Scotland.

Population  All women who had a TAH (316) or a TCRE (229) for DUB, during the period from 1 January 1990 to 31 December 1994, who had never been referred for symptoms of UI prior to their operation.

Methods  Independent t tests, Mann–Whitney U tests and Chi-squared tests were used to compare the two study groups in terms of demographic details and outcome measures. Newcombe’s method for the comparison of two unpaired proportions was used to calculate 95% CIs for the differences in outcome measures between the two operations. Logistic regression was conducted to investigate associations with hospital referral for UI.

Main outcome measures  Hospital referral for UI at 10 years follow up.

Results  There were significantly more hospital referrals for UI in the TAH group compared with the TCRE group (46 [15%] versus 16 [7%]; OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.25–4.12). More women were referred for urological investigations after a TAH than after a TCRE (39 [12%] versus 13 [6%], 95% CI for the difference in proportions 2–11%). A higher, but statistically nonsignificant, proportion of women had objectively demonstrated UI after a TAH than after a TCRE (25 [8%] versus 10 [4%], 95% CI for the difference in proportions −1 to 8%). There were a greater number of hospital referrals for treatment of UI in the TAH group (36, 11%) than in the TCRE group (12, 5%), 95% CI for the difference in proportions (1–11%). After adjusting for age, weight, smoking status and mode of delivery, the increased rate of hospital referral for UI after TAH remained, with an odds ratio of 2.31, 95% CI 1.24–4.30.

Conclusions  TAH is associated with a significantly increased incidence of hospital referral for UI, urological investigations and treatment for UI at 10 years of follow up compared with TCRE.