Levator Ani Muscle Defects in Patients With Surgical Failure

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The objective of the study was to use a well-described system of measuring levator ani (LA) muscle defects from magnetic resonance images to evaluate whether major defects are correlated to an increased risk of surgical failure.


A retrospective cohort study performed on patients who underwent laparoscopic uterosacral ligament suspension from 2010 to 2012. Surgical failure was defined as a composite score of anatomic bulge beyond the hymen with sensation of bulge or repeat treatment of prolapse via pessary or surgery by 1-year follow-up. Levator ani muscle defects were graded by a score of 0 (no defect), 1 (<50% muscle bulk missing), 2 (>50% muscle bulk missing), or 3 (complete loss of muscle). Total score is the sum from both graded sides, with 0 classified as having no defect, 1 to 3 classified as having minor defects, and 4 to 6 classified as having major defects. Dichotomous values of LA major defects were compared against dichotomous values of surgical outcomes via a contingency table. Fisher exact test was then performed to correlate major defects to surgical success/failure. P value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


Sixty-six women met the inclusion criteria. Thirteen (19.6%) patients met the criteria for surgical failure at 1 year. Of the 13, 54% (7) had a major defect, and 46% (6) had a minor or no defect (odds ratio, 1.31; 95% confidence interval, 0.39–4.41; P = 0.762).


We did not find a statistical correlation to surgical failure after a laparoscopic uterosacral ligament suspension with LA muscle defects on preoperative magnetic resonance images within this specific patient population.

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