TRANSVAGINAL URETHROLYSIS FOR URETHRAL OBSTRUCTION AFTER ANTI-INCONTINENCE SURGERY

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Abstract

Purpose

Urethral obstruction following a stress incontinence procedure occurs in 5 to 20% of patients. We examine the success of transvaginal urethrolysis in resolving voiding dysfunction.

Materials and Methods

A retrospective chart review was performed on 39 patients who had undergone transvaginal urethrolysis for urethral obstruction following an anti-incontinence procedure. Preoperatively, a history was taken, and pelvic examination and either video urodynamics or cystoscopy were done.

Results

All 39 patients complained of urge incontinence, 13% had urinary retention, 51% had incomplete bladder emptying and 36% voided to completion but had irritative voiding symptoms. Previous surgery included retropubic urethropexy in 41% of the cases, pubovaginal sling in 38% and bladder neck suspension in 21%. Mean length of followup after urethrolysis was 16 months. Of the 39 patients 33 (85%) had resolution of urge incontinence but 5 still required occasional intermittent catheterization. The remaining 6 patients had continued urge incontinence. An augmentation procedure was performed in 4 patients with improvement of symptoms.

Conclusions

Our data support transvaginal urethrolysis for the treatment of iatrogenic urethral obstruction. It is a rapid, effective and minimally invasive technique that should be considered if voiding dysfunction does not resolve spontaneously.

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