Review of transobturator and retropubic tape procedures for stress urinary incontinence

Friday, 15 August 2008 - Recently, various types of tension free vaginal tapes via retropubic and transobturator route (inside-out technique; outside-in technique) have been adopted for treatment of stress urinary incontinence. In a review, Latthe (2008) assessed the recent evidence on effectiveness and complications of these tapes in stress urinary incontinence.

There was no significant difference found between tension free vaginal tapes and colposuspension for the cure of stress urinary incontinence at 5 years in a multicentre randomized controlled trial. Vault and posterior vaginal wall prolapse were commoner after colposuspension. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis reported that subjective cure for inside-out technique (five randomized controlled trials) and outside-in technique (six randomized controlled trials) at 2-12 months was no better when compared with tension free vaginal tapes (odds ratio: 0.85; 95% confidence interval: 0.60-1.21). Bladder injuries (odds ratio: 0.12; 95% confidence interval: 0.05-0.33) and voiding difficulties (odds ratio: 0.55; 95% confidence interval: 0.31-0.98) were less common, whereas groin/thigh pain (odds ratio: 8.28; 95% confidence interval: 2.7-25.4) and vaginal injuries or mesh erosion (odds ratio: 1.96; 95% confidence interval: 0.87-4.39) were more common in transobturator tapes. Sexual function was overall improved; the pain being more with outside-in technique than inside-out technique route.

The author concluded that tension free tapes are effective in treating stress urinary incontinence; evidence for superiority of transobturator over retropubic tapes is currently limited.

Latthe, P. M. (2008). Review of transobturator and retropubic tape procedures for stress urinary incontinence. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol, 20(4), 331-336.

Authors: Latthe


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