There is a lack of consensus regarding indications and long-term efficacy of the many surgical techniques for treating stress incontinence. Historically pubovaginal sling has been reserved for cases of intrinsic sphincter deficiency or prior surgical failure. Transvaginal needle and retropubic suspensions have been used mainly for sphincteric incontinence unassociated with intrinsic sphincter deficiency. We report the long-term results of pubovaginal sling for all types of stress incontinence.Materials and Methods
A total of 251 consecutive women with all types of stress incontinence who underwent pubovaginal fascial sling by a single surgeon were retrospectively and prospectively reviewed. Patients were evaluated preoperatively with history, physical examination, standardized symptom questionnaire, voiding diary, pad test, uroflow, post-void residual urine, video urodynamics and cystoscopy. Postoperatively women with at least 1-year followup were assessed by an independent third party (J. R.) who had no prior knowledge of them, and who recorded the parameters of the questionnaire, examination with a full bladder, voiding diary, pad test, uroflow and post-void residual urine.Results
Overall stress incontinence was cured or improved in 92% of the patients with at least 1-year followup (median 3.1 years, range 1 to 15). The majority of patients with postoperative incontinence had de novo (3%) or persistent (23%) urge incontinence. Permanent urinary retention developed in 4 patients (2%).Conclusions
Fascial pubovaginal sling is an effective treatment for all types of stress incontinence with acceptable long-term efficacy.