Complications of Sling Surgery for Stress Urinary Incontinence Among Female Military Beneficiaries

Prior studies of complications after sling surgery excluded the large number of women in military treatment facilities (MTFs).

To characterize the postoperative complication rates after sling surgery for Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) within MTFs in the United States.

Retrospective cohort study of women aged 18 and older, with SUI, and who underwent either an outpatient or inpatient mid-urethral sling placement for SUI in any MTF in the United States between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012.

During the study period, 348 surgeons performed 1632 slings. The average patient age was 47.2 years, and 22.4% of the patients had a concomitant pelvic organ prolapse procedure. Overall, 45.5% of subjects had at least one postoperative complication. Of the specific complications, urologic infectious complications were the most frequent, occurring in 25.2% of patients. Overall, only 0.9% of patients underwent a repeat incontinence procedure. In multivariate analyses, concomitant pelvic organ procedure was associated with an increased risk of bladder outlet obstruction and noninfectious urologic complications. Those with a Charlson comorbidity index score of 1 or more were more likely to have an infectious complication and a new diagnosis of pelvic pain. Women older than the median age were less likely than those below to experience treatment failure and a new diagnosis of pelvic pain.

The population of women with SUI undergoing sling surgery at MTFs is a young population with postoperative complication rates lower than previously reported. However, the absolute overall complication rate is still high, specifically related to urinary tract infections, suggesting that significant opportunities exist for quality improvement.

Journal of women's health (2002). 2018 Jan 10 [Epub ahead of print]

David L Howard, Andrea McGlynn, Joy A Greer

1 MAJ USAF MC, 633rd Medical Group, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hampton, Virginia., 2 Department of Clinical Investigation, Naval Medical Center , Portsmouth, Virginia., 3 CDR MC USN, Division of Urogynecology, Department of Women's Health, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth , Portsmouth, Virginia.