Voiding dysfunction following incontinence surgery: diagnosis and treatment with retropubic or vaginal urethrolysis.
PURPOSE: A retrospective analysis was done of women undergoing urethrolysis for post-cystourethropexy voiding dysfunction to identify possible predictors of outcome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The charts of 51 sequential women who underwent 54 urethrolysis procedures between 1986 and 1996 were reviewed. The most common presenting symptoms were irritative in 38 patients, obstructive in 31, de novo urge incontinence in 28 and persistent retention in 12. Onset was immediate after suspension in 84% of the patients. Median time from last cystourethropexy or sling to urethrolysis was 15 months (range 4 to 268). Initial evaluation consisted of multichannel video urodynamics and cystoscopy in all women. The techniques of urethrolysis were retropubic in 35 cases, vaginal in 15 or infrapubic in 4, with simultaneous repeat suspensions performed in 63%. RESULTS: A successful outcome with complete resolution of symptoms or significant improvement was achieved in 86% (retropubic), 73% (vaginal) and 25% (infrapubic) of the cases with a median followup of 10 months. No parameter examined, namely urodynamic variables, number of previous suspensions, time from suspension to urethrolysis or surgical approach, was a statistically significant predictor of outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Urodynamics may not show classic obstructive voiding in women who benefit from urethrolysis. Our only absolute selection criterion for offering urethrolysis is a clear temporal relationship of symptoms to cystourethropexy. Retropubic and vaginal techniques for urethrolysis provide similar results but morbidity is seemingly less with the vaginal approach. Omental or Martius fat pad interposition may be of benefit.
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