Survey on surgery for stress urinary incontinence in an era mid-urethral slings are being questioned

An-Sofie D'hulster*, Susanne Housmans, Wilbert Spaans, Frank Van der Aa, Koen Slabbaert, Alfred L Milani, Jan Deprest

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


INTRODUCTION: Concerns about vaginal mesh have reduced the use of mid-urethral slings (MUS) in some countries. In view of their potential withdrawal in Belgium and The Netherlands, we polled urogynaecologists on their practice for treating stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and what their experience is with alternative procedures, and we asked them how their patients perceive the risk and success rates.

METHODS: A survey among members of the pelvic floor special interest group of the Flemish Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Belgian Association of Urology and Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

RESULTS: Their primary procedure of choice is the MUS (99%). Sixty-five per cent performs at least 25 MUS yearly; they report high success (90%; IQR [85-92]) and low adverse outcome rates. Physicians anticipate complications as reported in the literature: 5% (IQR [410]) overactive bladder, 5% (IQR [2-10]) voiding problems, 2% (IQR [15]) exposures, 2% (IQR [1-5]) dyspareunia and 1% (IQR [1-3]) chronic pain. Eighty-five per cent of physicians report their patients express fears about having a MUS though usually they cannot precisely tell why. Reportedly they tell their physicians of concerns about pain (54%), exposure (45%), dyspareunia (25%), voiding problems (15%) or overactive bladder (8%). Only half of respondents had ever performed a colposuspension. The majority of these were older and performed colposuspension via laparotomy. Only six (4%) had performed > 20 colposuspensions yearly.

CONCLUSION: Dutch and Belgian urogynaecologists estimate success and adverse effect rates of MUS in line with the literature. Their patients most cited worries were fear of chronic pain and exposure. Only half of respondents had ever performed a colposuspension. They were older and performed the procedure via laparotomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-702
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Mid-urethral sling
  • Burch colposuspension
  • Stress urinary incontinence

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