Long-term outcome of tension-free vaginal tape for treating stress incontinence in women with neuropathic bladders

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OBJECTIVETo evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of the tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women with neuropathic bladder dysfunction.PATIENTS AND METHODSTwelve women (mean age 53.3 years, range 41–80) with neuropathic bladder dysfunction and SUI confirmed by video-cystometrography (VCMG) were treated with a TVT in one institution by an expert neuro-urologist between November 1997 and December 2000. The patient's notes, clinical annual follow-up and VCMG after the procedure, and the incontinence impact questionnaire (IIQ) forms (Urinary Distress Inventory, and IIQ-7) were assessed during the long-term clinical follow-up for SUI, in addition to a health-related quality of life assessment. The cure of SUI was defined as no loss of urine on physical exercise, confirmed VCMG after the procedure, and by clinical assessment.RESULTSThe mean (range) follow-up was 10 (8.5–12) years. Nine patients were using clean intermittent self-catheterization before the insertion of TVT and continued to do so afterward. At 10 years of follow-up, one patient had died (with failed TVT initially), and two were lost to follow-up at 5 years after surgery, but up to 5 years they did not complain of UI and VCMG did not show SUI. The remaining seven of the nine patients were completely dry, and two improved and were satisfied with using one or two pads/day. Two patients showed neurogenic detrusor overactivity confirmed on VCMG, with no evidence of SUI. One patient needed a transient urethral catheter for urinary retention after surgery, one had a bladder injury that required leaving the catheter for 5 days, but no urethral erosions were reported during the follow-up.CONCLUSIONSIn women with neuropathic bladder dysfunction secondary to a variety of spinal cord pathologies, and who have SUI necessitating a definitive intervention, insertion of TVT should be considered a desirable treatment, with very good long-term outcomes.

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