Introduction: There are few published reports on the incidence and management of urethral and vaginal erosions following the use of polypropylene synthetic slings. Moreover, there is very little Australasian data on their use for management of female urinary incontinence or on their associated complications. Methods: A 1-page survey was mailed to the Australian and New Zealand members of the Urological Society of Australasia (N = 326). The survey included questions on the use of polypropylene synthetic sling and the incidence and management of post-operative vaginal and urethral erosions and urinary retention. Results: 198 surveys were returned (response rate: 61%). Polypropylene synthetic sling procedure is practiced by 39% of the respondents with a total of 1459 cases (TVT: 993, SPARC: 466). The incidence of vaginal erosions, urethral erosions and urinary retention was 1.2%, 0.6% and 6.5%, respectively. Thirty five percent of vaginal erosions were asymptomatic and only identified on routine post-operative vaginal examination. One third of urethral erosions presented more than 1 year after surgery and 89% of these were symptomatic. Thirty four percent of patients with urinary retention required surgical intervention to correct the retention. Conclusions: The incidence of urethral and vaginal erosions following polypropylene synthetic sling procedures is lower than that with other synthetic slings. However, a high index of suspicion and long-term follow-up are required to identify and manage these complications of this relatively new procedure.
- Polypropylene synthetic sling
- Urethral erosion
- Urinary retention
- Vaginal erosions
ASJC Scopus subject areas