Urethral erosion after synthetic and nonsynthetic pubovaginal slings: differences in management and continence outcome.
PURPOSE: We present a series of urethral erosion following a pubovaginal sling procedure due to synthetic and nonsynthetic materials and discuss their management and continence outcome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: During a 3-year period 57 patients underwent urethrolysis for urethral obstruction after receiving a pubovaginal sling. Urethral erosion, defined as sling material entering the urethral lumen, was present in 9 patients and this cohort comprises the focus of our review. In 3 patients the eroded material was synthetic, that is ProteGen (Boston Scientific, Natick, Massachusetts) in 2 and polypropylene in 1. This condition was treated with removal of the whole sling, multilayer closure of the erosion and selective use of a Martius flap. In 6 patients the eroded material was nonsynthetic, that is allograft fascia in 5 and autograft fascia in 1. This condition was treated with sling incision and multilayer closure of the urethra. Preoperative assessment included a urogynecologic questionnaire, measurement of pad use, a voiding diary, cystourethroscopy and videourodynamics. Postoperatively similar parameters were used to assess continence outcomes and the need for subsequent procedures. RESULTS: Nine patients were followed 30 months after urethrolysis. All 9 women had some manifestation of voiding dysfunction following the pubovaginal sling procedure, including urinary retention in 4, urge incontinence in 3 and mixed incontinence in 2. Urinary retention resolved in 3 patients and urge incontinence resolved in 4. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) persisted in 2 of the 3 patients in the synthetic group, while no patient in the nonsynthetic group had recurrent SUI. There were no recurrent urethral erosions or fistulas in either group. CONCLUSIONS: Urethral erosion after a pubovaginal sling procedure can occur irrespective of the sling material. However, recurrent SUI is not an invariable outcome of the management of urethral erosion following the pubovaginal sling procedure.
Amundsen, CL; Flynn, BJ; Webster, GD
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