Tension-free artisan tape: a low-cost option for cure of pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence.

The Lancet PROSPECT Trial has shown that vaginal repair has dismal cure rates of some 20% at 12 months. Meanwhile 10-year data from collagen creating ligament repair methods (implanted mini-sling tapes), with no vaginal excision, report very high, long-term cure rates. The reason for conserving the vagina, is that the vagina's main function is to transmit the muscle forces for external urethral closure or opening. Ligaments provide the main structural support for the organs, much like a suspension bridge. Collagen is the key structural component of the ligaments which structurally support the organs. However, collagen breaks down after the menopause and is excreted as hydroxyproline. If sufficient collagen breaks down, the ligaments weaken, and this explains the 80% failure rates for native ligament in the Lancet PROSPECT Trial. Whereas satisfactory results for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and symptoms have been obtained with native ligament repair in premenopausal women, it has been shown that collagen-creating ligament repair method, for example, precisely inserted tapes, is required in older women. Tension-free" artisan tapes work in the same way as commercial tape kits which have been used to cure stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and POP. The "tension-free" artisan tape results for POP at three years were encouraging, but were applied only in a small number of cases. Very recently, long-term (5.7 years) tension-free artisan tape data has become available from artisan SUI surgery. Results from 93 women using an artisan transobturator tape (TOT) achieved a cure rate of 91.3% at a mean of 5.7 years postoperatively. The only significant complication was a 4.3% erosion rate. The implications are that tension-free artisan tape for POP is also likely to be long-lasting. Another implication is the cost, which, for each tape, is a few Euros. The low cost allows the artisan method to be applied even in the poorest nations.

Annals of translational medicine. 2024 Apr 18 [Epub]

Ahmet Akin Sivaslioglu, Ion-Andrei Muller-Funogea, Paolo Palma

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Izmir University of Economics Medicalpoint International Hospital, Izmir, Turkey., Department of Urogynecology and Pelviperineology, St. Antonius Hospital Eschweiler, Inkontinenz und Beckenbodenzentrum, Eschweiler, Germany., Department of Urology, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Sao Paulo, Brazil.