Complications of urethral bulking therapy for female stress urinary incontinence.

To review, report, and discuss the complications associated with urethral bulking therapy in female stress urinary incontinence.

An extensive nonsystematic literature review on complications associated with injectable bulking agents used in the clinical practice was conducted. We reviewed articles published in English and indexed in the PubMed, Embase, and Google Scholar databases. Original articles, case reports, and case series were taken into consideration. Data regarding the safety of injectable bulking agents and the complications associated with their utility within the context of urethral bulking therapy for female stress urinary incontinence were extracted and discussed.

Approximately, 1/3 of the patients experience some type of a complication after urethral bulking therapy. The majority of these complications are of low grade, transient, do not necessitate additional surgical intervention, and amenable to treatment with conservative measures such as clean intermittent catheterization and antibiotics. However, more serious complications such as abscess formation, delayed hypersensitivity reactions, and vaginal erosion have been reported. Some of the injectable bulking agents have been withdrawn from the market because of their unfavorable adverse effect profile.

Urethral bulking therapy can be considered as a low-risk procedure. However, it is not without complications which can be severe in rare instances. The search for the ideal urethral bulking agent is ongoing and future comparative studies assessing the safety and efficacy of these compounds in randomized controlled settings are warranted.

Neurourology and urodynamics. 2019 May 08 [Epub ahead of print]

Ervin Kocjancic, Sherif Mourad, Ömer Acar

Department of Urology, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Chicago, Illinois., Department of Urology, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.