Surgical Pain After Transobturator and Retropubic Midurethral Sling Placement

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare prevalence and severity of any surgical pain between transobturator and retropubic slings; secondary aims were to compare pain at anatomic locations, pain medication use, and pain resolution between transobturator and retropubic slings and to compare pain between types of transobturator slings.

METHODS:

This is a secondary analysis of the Trial of Mid-Urethral Slings, which compared retropubic and transobturator sling outcomes and included 597 participants from 2006 to 2008. Postoperative assessments included body maps, visual analog scales, Surgical Pain Scales, and medication inventories for 30 days, at 6 weeks, and 6, 12, and 24 months. Postoperative pain prevalence and severity were compared. Mixed models compared pain resolution and severity over time. Regression models compared pain prevalence and severity between types of transobturator slings. Eighty percent power was provided for the primary outcome pain prevalence and 95% power was provided for the primary outcome pain severity.

RESULTS:

Postoperative prevalence of any surgical pain, pain severity, and pain medication was not different between retropubic and transobturator slings. Retropubic sling was associated with greater prevalence of suprapubic pain at 2 weeks (proportion difference 10.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.6–16.4%; P<.001). Transobturator sling was associated with greater prevalence of groin pain at 2 weeks (proportion difference 12.0%; 95% CI 7.1–16.8%; P<.001). There was no difference in pain resolution (odds ratio [OR] 1.11, 95% CI 0.88–1.40; P=.38). Between types of transobturator slings, the odds of surgical pain were similar at 2 (OR 2.39, 95% CI 0.51–11.31; P=.27) and 6 weeks (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.02–9.20; P=.61).

CONCLUSION:

Transobturator and retropubic slings are associated with low prevalence of any surgical pain. Transobturator sling was associated with greater prevalence of groin pain at 2 weeks, and retropubic sling was associated with greater prevalence of suprapubic pain at 2 weeks. Surgical pain resolved quickly in both groups.

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