LONG BEACH, CALIF. — If present trends continue, U.S. surgeons will be performing 179,000 more incontinence and prolapse surgeries annually in 2050 than they are today.
The projected increase results primarily from an aging population, Dr. Jennifer Wu said at the meeting.
Stress incontinence surgeries are predicted to increase from an estimated 211,000 in 2010 to 310,000 in 2050. Similarly, surgeries for pelvic floor prolapse are predicted to increase from 166,000 this year to 246,000 in 2050.
Dr. Wu of Duke University, Durham, N.C., and her colleagues used three sources of data in making their forecast. The U.S. Census Bureau provided estimates of the female population in various age groups between 2006 and 2050. Data on the number of women undergoing these surgeries, broken down by age group, came from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of 2007 and the National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery of 2006.
The largest number of surgeries occurred among women aged 40–59 years. During the survey years, 48,050 women in that age group underwent inpatient surgery and 53,790 underwent outpatient surgery for incontinence. Similarly, 49,490 women underwent inpatient surgery and 20,700 underwent outpatient surgery for prolapse.
“These estimates will provide public health officials and policy makers with important information regarding the future disease burden as well as the economic impact of these procedures,” Dr. Wu said. The projections rested on assumptions such as that surgery rates would remain constant. That assumption could be overturned by changes in the incidence of disease, advances in technology and surgical technique, or implementation of successful prevention strategies.
Dr. Wu stated that she had no relevant financial disclosures.