A systematic review on vaginal laser therapy for treating stress urinary incontinence: Do we have enough evidence?

Current treatment strategies for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) raise concerns about safety and efficacy. The purpose of this systematic review was to present available evidence related to vaginal laser therapy as a treatment option for SUI.

We searched the MEDLINE (1966-2017), Scopus (2004-2017), Clinicaltrials.gov (2008-2017) and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (1999-2017) databases for relevant studies in this field. We aimed to include all observational studies (prospective and retrospective, randomized and nonrandomized) that reported outcomes on vaginal laser therapy as a treatment option for SUI.

Thirteen studies were included that recruited 818 patients who underwent laser therapy for SUI. The methodological quality of most included studies was low, as they were either individual case-control studies, case series or poor-quality cohorts (Oxford Level of Evidence 3b and 4). According to the existing evidence, laser therapy may be a useful, minimally invasive approach for treating SUI. However, the methodological limitations of included studies render them prone to significant bias, limiting their scientific integrity.

As the demand for minimally invasive approaches for treating SUI increases, it is expected that more patients will seek alternative treatments over current standards (midurethral slings). Given the limitations of the existing studies, it seems that conducting future trials is necessary to elucidate this field.

International urogynecology journal. 2017 Aug 02 [Epub ahead of print]

Vasilios Pergialiotis, Anastasia Prodromidou, Despina N Perrea, Stergios K Doumouchtsis

Laboratory of Experimental Surgery and Surgical Research N.S. Christeas, 6, Danaidon str, 15232, Chalandri, Greece. ., Laboratory of Experimental Surgery and Surgical Research N.S. Christeas, 6, Danaidon str, 15232, Chalandri, Greece.

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