What if there were no tapes?

It is possible that the controversy involving prostheses implanted into women with pelvic floor problems might result in the majority of, or even all such products being restricted, banned or withdrawn in certain jurisdictions. A clear distinction between "tapes" for urinary incontinence and "mesh" for prolapse has been made in the enquiries and subsequent rulings in Australia and New Zealand. Transvaginal "mesh" will be unavailable with the range of "tapes" much more restricted in those countries from January 2018. The Chair of the all-party parliamentary group on surgical mesh implants in the United Kingdom was reported as describing the New Zealand announcement as "hugely significant" and "it's precisely what we've been calling for the UK." The title of this article has changed from a hypothetical piece to a potential reality review. Where does that leave the clinicians treating stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and the large number of female sufferers? "Tapes" (synthetic midurethral slings-MUS) have become very popular over the last 20 years since their original development and introduction in Scandanavia. Evidence-based medicine has shown their advantages over previous surgeries, in terms of ease of use, safety and efficacy. This article outlines the options which countries potentially rejecting the use of tapes, must now resort to for women with SUI. Those countries considering such action need the note of caution that none of the options are as good as tapes.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2018 Jul 04 [Epub ahead of print]

Bernard T Haylen, Joseph K S Lee, Vasukhi Sivagnanam, Angela Cross

University of New South Wales, Sydney, N.S.W. Australia., St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, N.S.W. Australia.