Autologous fascia, Pelvicol™ implant and polypropylene are common materials used in suburethral anti-incontinence procedures. We explored the relative effectiveness of the autologous fascia pubovaginal sling, Pelvicol pubovaginal sling and Gynecare TVT™ on self-reported postoperative urinary incontinence.Materials and Methods
The study was a mailed cross-sectional survey of health related quality of life 1 to 3 years after suburethral anti-incontinence surgery performed at our institution. The Incontinence Symptom Index was used to assess the presence and severity of urinary incontinence symptoms and the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire-7 was used to assess impairment. Regression models were developed to identify factors with an independent effect on the presence, severity and impairment of urinary incontinence symptoms.Results
The questionnaire was returned by 69% of eligible respondents (173 of 250). Those with previous incontinence surgery (OR 11.0, 95% CI 2.3–51.4) and medical comorbidities (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1–2.2) were more likely to report urinary incontinence symptoms, ie incontinence symptom index greater than 0. Symptom severity, which was analyzed only in respondents with urinary incontinence symptoms, was greater in the Pelvicol than in the autologous fascia pubovaginal sling and TVT groups (each p <0.01). No significant difference was observed between the TVT and autologous fascia pubovaginal sling groups (p = 0.15). Also associated with higher urinary incontinence symptom severity scores were body mass index (p = 0.03), a history of incontinence surgery (p = 0.01) and lower education (p <0.01). Impairment from urinary incontinence, as assessed by the Incontinence Impact Questionnaire-7, was associated with body mass index, severe depression and current smoking (each p = 0.01) but not with surgical treatment group.Conclusions
Women who received an autologous fascia pubovaginal sling or TVT reported lower symptom severity scores than those who had a Pelvicol pubovaginal sling. Impairment was not associated with procedure type. These findings suggest better outcomes with autologous fascia pubovaginal sling and TVT. Randomized, controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings.