Laparoscopic Burch colposuspension and the tension-free vaginal tape procedure

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Purpose of review

Minimally invasive procedures for urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse have gained increasing popularity in the past decade. The advantages of minimal access through laparoscopic and vaginal routes include smaller incisions, shortened hospital stay, decreased analgesia, rapid recovery and rapid return to work. The laparoscopic Burch colposuspension and the tension-free vaginal tape procedure were at the forefront of minimal access antiincontinence procedures. The most recent and significant publications regarding laparoscopic Burch colposuspension and tension-free vaginal tape procedure are highlighted in this article.

Recent findings

The laparoscopic Burch is time-consuming and requires a steep learning curve in laparoscopic suturing, thwarting its adoption and staying power. The advantages and success of the retropubic midurethral sling procedures such as tension-free vaginal tape have largely replaced all other antiincontinence procedures and have ignited the development and adoption of transobturator midurethral sling procedures and vaginal ‘kit’ procedures for pelvic organ prolapse.


Clinical trials show that laparoscopic Burch cure rates are equal or inferior to tension-free vaginal tape cure rates. Publications regarding laparoscopic Burch colposuspension have tapered significantly in the past year, which may represent the ebb of its utilization. Tension-free vaginal tape and other midurethral sling procedures may become the new ‘gold standard’ antiincontinence therapy.

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