SAN FRANCISCO – Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) following removal of a mid-urethral sling (MUS) mesh is not necessarily associated with increased risk of postsurgical urinary incontinence, according to a retrospective study at a high-volume, tertiary medical center.
Follow-up procedures occurred more often in women with preoperative urodynamic SUI and less often in women who were stress continent.
Among women who were stress continent, obesity and postmenopausal status were linked to postsurgical SUI. There was no association between postsurgical SUI and the extent of mesh excision or prior revisions.
The study grew out of observations that SUI occurred less often than expected.
“There’s an increasing recognition of complications related to synthetic MUS,” said, who presented the study at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association. “As mesh removal procedures were being performed, we assumed that the majority of patients, if not all, would be incontinent afterward, since we were removing the sling that was put in to fix stress incontinence in most cases.”
In a patient who would benefit from a complete mesh removal, “the fear that it may lead to a higher risk of urinary incontinence is not a good justification to not do it,” Dr. Oliver said. She did note, however, that the procedures were done by specialists, so findings may not be applicable to general practitioners.
The study was performed while Dr. Oliver was a fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is now with the division of urology at the University of Colorado, Anschutz, in Aurora.