Can surgical reconstruction of vaginal and ligamentous laxity cure overactive bladder symptoms in women with pelvic organ prolapse?

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To examine the extent and intensity of the coexistence of overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms in women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and to evaluate the likelihood of OAB symptom improvement after surgical POP reconstruction over a period of 2 years.

Patients and Methods

The effectiveness of the transvaginal, single-incision ‘Elevate’ technique for anatomical cure of anterior/apical and posterior/apical vaginal prolapse has been previously reported in a prospective, multicentre study. This technique uses mesh arms attached to the sacrospinous ligaments to recreate apical ligamentous support. Using the same sample population as that used in the multicentre study (n = 281), we conducted the present sub-analysis focusing on estimating the extent of comorbidity between POP and OAB symptoms, as well as the effects of subsequent pelvic floor reconstruction on OAB symptoms over a long period. Assessments of POP and OAB symptom severity before and after surgery at 6, 12 and 24 months were obtained using the Pelvic Floor Distress Inventory (PFDI) questionnaire.


Preoperatively, 70% of all POP patients reported moderate to severe OAB symptoms, with almost half (49.5%) noting severe OAB bother (‘quite a bit bothersome’) for one or more of the classic OAB symptom domains on the PFDI: ‘daytime urinary frequency’; ‘urinary urgency’; ‘urinary urgency incontinence’; and/or ‘nocturia’. In fact, across all four OAB symptom domains evaluated, there were significantly more severe symptoms (‘quite a bit bothersome’) than moderate (‘moderately bothersome’) or mild (‘somewhat bothersome’): 26–31%, 13–21%, and 17–19% of patients, respectively. In patients with symptomatic POP >stage 2, there was no relationship between further degree of prolapse and presence of severity of OAB symptoms; however, patients with POP stage 2 had significantly more complaints regarding the items ‘daytime urinary frequency’ and ‘urinary urgency incontinence’ compared with those with stage 3–4 POP. Pelvic floor reconstructive surgery resulted in significant improvement in all OAB symptoms, which seemed to be stable over time. The cure rate of moderate-to-severe OAB complaints ranged between 60% and 80%, which was a durable improvement noted throughout 24 months.


Results showed that POP was to a high degree accompanied by moderate-to-severe OAB complaints. Significant long-lasting improvements in bothersome OAB symptoms occurred after adequate surgical reconstruction of anterior/apical and posterior/apical vaginal support.

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