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Effectiveness of midurethral slings in intrinsic sphincteric-related stress urinary incontinence

Lim, Yik N; Dwyer, Peter L

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: October 2009 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 428–433
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e32832fd268
Urogynecology: Edited by Narender Bhatia

Purpose of review Previous literature has shown that urodynamic evidence of intrinsic sphincter deficiency (ISD) decreases the surgical success of traditional antistress incontinence surgeries. The aim of this review is to assess recent evidence on the effectiveness of the increasingly popular midurethral slings (MUS) in women with ISD and stress urinary incontinence.

Recent findings Using the ISD definition of maximum urethral closure pressure of 20 cm H2O or less and/or abdominal/valsalva leak point pressure of 60 cm H2O or less, current literature would suggest that the effectiveness of retropubic MUS is reduced but remained acceptable in women with stress urinary incontinence and ISD. There are conflicting data on whether coexisting poor urethral mobility could further compromise surgical success. Of note, there is now emerging evidence to suggest that transobturator tapes are associated with much higher failure rates in this setting and retropubic MUS should be used instead. Currently, there is too little data on the new single-incision mini-slings for any recommendation of use in women with stress incontinence with good or poor intrinsic urethral function.

Summary MUS is an effective treatment for stress urinary incontinence. However, when urodynamic evidence of ISD is present, the retropubic approach may be preferable to the transobturator approach.

Department of Urogynaecology, Mercy Hospital for Women, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence to Dr Yik N. Lim, FRANZCOG, CU, Consultant Urogynaecologist, Department of Urogynaecology, Mercy Hospital for Women, 163 Studley Road, Heidelberg, VIC 3084, Australia Tel: +61 3 84584862; fax: +61 3 84584878; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.