Risk of Repeat Anti-Incontinence Surgery Following Sling Release: A Review of 93 Cases

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Sling procedures are the most common surgery for stress urinary incontinence in women. Lower urinary tract symptoms are well documented complications of these procedures that develop in 5% to 20% of patients. A common treatment for postoperative urinary retention and bothersome obstructive voiding symptoms after anti-incontinence surgery is sling release. While previous studies indicated the risk of recurrent stress urinary incontinence after surgical release of slings, there is a paucity of data on how many patients require repeat anti-incontinence procedures.

Materials and Methods

After receiving institutional review board approval we retrospectively reviewed the records of 143 consecutive female sling release procedures performed by 2 subspecialized urologists at our clinic from January 2000 through August 2012. A total of 121 patients underwent documented followup at our clinic, of whom 93 were treated with sling release for obstruction or retention after sling placement. We identified the characteristics of this patient population, specifically the incidence of subsequent anti-incontinence procedures.


Mean ± SD patient age was 58 ± 13.2 years and median patient followup after surgical sling release was 32 months (IQR 6, 67). Of the 93 patients 13 (14%) required a repeat anti-incontinence procedure after sling release at a median of 3 months.


Sling release remains an important treatment option in patients with obstruction after anti-incontinence surgery. Only a small percent of patients require repeat anti-incontinence surgery for recurrent stress urinary incontinence.

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