Sling revision/removal for mesh erosion and urinary retention: long-term risk and predictors

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The objective of the study was to estimate the long-term risk of sling revision/removal after an initial sling and to assess indications (mesh erosion and urinary retention) and predictors of sling revision/removal.

Study Design

Using a population-based cohort of commercially insured individuals, we identified women 18 years old or older who underwent a sling (Current Procedural Terminology code 57288) between 2001 and 2010 and any subsequent sling revision/removal (Current Procedural Terminology code 57287). We estimated the cumulative risk of revision/removal annually and evaluated predictors of sling revision/removal using Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazards models, respectively.


We identified 188,454 eligible women who underwent an index sling. The 9 year cumulative risk of sling revision/removal was 3.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.5–3.9). At 1 year, this risk was already 2.2% and then increased to 3.2% at 4 years before plateauing. With regard to the indication for the sling revision/removal, a greater proportion was due to mesh erosion compared with urinary retention, with a 9 year risk of 2.5% (95% CI, 2.3–2.6) for mesh erosion vs 1.3% (95% CI, 1.2–1.4) for urinary retention. Age had an effect on the revision/removal rates for both mesh erosion and urinary retention, with the higher risks among those aged 18-29 years. The risk of revision/removal for mesh erosion and urinary retention was also elevated among women who had a concomitant anterior or apical prolapse procedure.


In this population-based analysis, the 9 year risk of sling revision/removal was relatively low at 3.7%, with 60% of revisions/removals caused by mesh erosion.

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