Management of Urinary Incontinence Following Suburethral Sling Removal

Nirmish Singla, Himanshu Aggarwal, Jeannine Foster, Feras Alhalabi, Gary E. Lemack, Philippe E. Zimmern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Purpose We evaluated urinary incontinence outcomes following synthetic suburethral sling removal in women. Materials and Methods We reviewed a prospectively maintained database of 360 consecutive women who underwent transvaginal suburethral sling removal from 2005 to 2015. We excluded patients with neurogenic bladder, nonsynthetic or multiple slings, prior mesh for prolapse, concomitant surgery during sling excision, urethral erosion or fistula, postoperative retention or less than 6-month followup. Demographics, sling type, indications for removal, time to removal and patient reported outcomes were recorded. Outcomes were stratified by incontinence type, including stress predominant, urge predominant and mixed urinary incontinence. Subsequent management was evaluated, including observation, minimally invasive outpatient interventions (bulking agents, neuromodulation or onabotulinumtoxinA) or more invasive surgery (autologous fascial sling or bladder suspension). No patients elected to receive a subsequent synthetic sling. Success was defined by responses to UDI-6 (Urogenital Distress Inventory) questions 2 and 3, self-reported satisfaction with continence at the last visit and no further intervention. Results Of the 99 patients who met inclusion criteria 27 denied any subjective leakage after suburethral sling removal alone while 72 experienced some degree of incontinence after removal. Stress predominant urinary incontinence occurred in 26 patients, which was persistent in 7 and de novo in 19, urge predominant incontinence was noted in 14, which was persistent in 6 and de novo in 8, and mixed urinary incontinence occurred in 32, which was persistent in 13 and de novo in 19. Mean followup was 23 months (range 6 to 114). The success rate following a single minimally invasive intervention after suburethral sling removal was 81%, 86% and 75% in patients with stress predominant, urge predominant and mixed urinary incontinence, respectively. Conclusions Patients who undergo suburethral sling removal may show urinary control, or de novo or persistent incontinence with a higher predilection for stress predominant or mixed urinary incontinence. However, after a single minimally invasive intervention following suburethral sling removal the success rate reached 75% to 86%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-649
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • device removal
  • suburethral slings
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • urethra
  • urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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