Recurrence of Stress Urinary Incontinence After Midurethral Sling Revision: A Retrospective Cohort Study

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The primary objective is to determine the relative risk (RR) of reoperation for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) recurrence after midurethral sling (MUS) division or excision. Our secondary objective is to determine the RR of SUI symptom recurrence according to differing techniques of revision.


This is a retrospective cohort study of all women who underwent surgical revision of an MUS by the Division of Urogynecology at the Women & Infants' Hospital during a 10-year period between October 1, 2004, and October 1, 2014. Sling division technique separates the sling from the urethra enough to permit transection either in the midline or lateral to the urethra. Revision was categorized as excision if a portion or the entirety of the sling was removed. Patients who underwent any operative procedure for SUI after revision were considered to have received reoperation. Subjectively, patients were considered to have postrevision recurrence of SUI if it was reported during routine evaluation/interviews or in the incontinence severity index questionnaire.


There were 102 patients who underwent revision of a type 1 mesh MUS; 45 underwent sling division, and 57 underwent mesh excision. After sling division, 4.4% of the patients underwent reoperation for recurrent SUI compared with 28.1% after sling excision (RR, 0.16; 95% confidence interval, 0.04–0.65). Stress urinary incontinence symptoms recurred in 13% after sling division versus 56% after excision (RR, 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.11–0.52).


The choice of technique may be dictated by the clinical scenario, but in situations in which sling division is an option, repeat operations and symptoms of SUI occur less frequently.

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