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Incidence of Bladder Injury During Retropubic Midurethral Sling Placement After Prior Burch Colpopexy

Gephart, Laura Faye MD, MBA; Kuehl, Thomas J. PhD; Reyes, Michelle BA, MBA; Yandell, Paul M. MD; Larsen, Wilma I. MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: January/February 2017 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 53–55
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000351
Original Articles

Objectives To elucidate if prior Burch changes the risk of bladder injury or rates of voiding dysfunction and continence in the immediate postoperative period when undergoing retropubic midurethral sling (MUS) placement.

Methods In this retrospective case control, charts were selected by Current Procedural Terminology codes for MUS placement. Women undergoing retropubic MUS placement with history of Burch urethropexy were considered. For every case, 2 age-matched and parity-matched controls without prior Burch were selected.

Results In total, 538 charts were reviewed from 2010 to 2014. Twenty cases were found. There was a difference (P = 0.023) in trocar penetration of the bladder. Twenty-five percent (5/20) of women with prior Burch had a 9-fold (odds ratio [OR], 9.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–82) higher chance of bladder penetration compared with women without prior retropubic surgery as calculated with Mantel-Haenszel paired test. Women with prior Burch had more success passing their voiding trials (OR, 7.5; 95% CI, 1.1–49.2). At 6 weeks, there was no difference in voiding dysfunction. Cure of stress incontinence at 6 weeks occurred more in controls than cases (P = 0.044) with match pairs manifesting an OR of 0.20 and 95% CI of 0.04–1.1.

Discussion This study shows a significant increase risk of trocar penetration of the bladder during retropubic MUS placement in women with a history of Burch urethropexy. Despite this, MUS placement was successful in all women. Women with prior surgery were much more likely to pass their voiding trials. There was no difference in voiding dysfunction at 6 weeks between the 2 groups.

Conclusions This indicates that though bladder penetration with a trocar is more common in the setting of previous retropubic surgery, it does not impact a woman's short-term intraoperative or postoperative course.

From the Baylor Scott & White Health, Temple, TX.

Reprints: Laura Faye Gephart, MD, MBA, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, 2401S. 31st Street, MS-01-E316A, Temple, TX 76508. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

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