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Sling during prolapse surgery ‘may reduce incontinence risk’

Posted Sep 23 2011 12:18pm
Incontinence Products for Women

Issue Codes Incontinence Products for Women

Female incontinence is a common side-effect of pelvic organ prolapse surgery, but new research suggests that the fitting of a device called a midurethral sling could help to reduce this risk.

The sling – also known as tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) – consists of a thin strip of mesh which is placed under the mid-urethra and becomes incorporated into the body tissue, replacing the weakened ligament under the tube that leads from the bladder.

Its aim is to support the urethra so that the patient does not experience stress incontinence , in which urine leaks when a woman strains, such as when she coughs, sneezes or laughs.

Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have now carried out a study to see whether the procedure is effective at preventing incontinence in women undergoing prolapse surgery.

The scientists followed more than 300 women who underwent pelvic organ prolapse surgery, none of whom had stress urinary incontinence prior to having the procedure.

Half of the women were fitted with a mid-urethral sling, while the others were not.

Participants were examined three months and 12 months after undergoing surgery to see whether they were experiencing female incontinence.

The researchers found that 49.4 per cent of women who did not receive a sling during surgery complained of urinary incontinence at three months, compared with just 23.6 per cent of women who were given preventative treatment.

A similar trend was seen one year after surgery, when 43 per cent of the control group and only 27.3 per cent of sling patients needed incontinence pads, such as Tena Comfort Mini Plus or Lil Form Classic Super .

Lead researcher Dr John Wei concluded: “Our findings suggest that preventative treatment for urinary incontinence during pelvic organ prolapse surgery decreases the incidence of bothersome urinary incontinence symptoms.”

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