Complications from Surgery for Urinary Incontinence High

Infections, obstruction and pelvic prolapse high after sling surgery

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stress urinary incontinence have complication rates one year after sling surgery that are higher than those previously reported in the literature, according to the results of a study of Medicare patients published in the March 1 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Jennifer Anger, M.D., of the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed Medicare claims data to determine short-term complications after sling surgery among female beneficiaries aged 65 years and older. Emphasis was placed on adverse effects, such as new urinary symptoms and pelvic organ prolapse, that were deemed important by a National Institutes of Health workshop.

Among a total of 1,356 sling procedures during the study period, 12.5 percent of women developed surgical or urologic complications within three months. Another 33.6 percent were diagnosed with urinary tract infections. At one year, about 7 percent had a new diagnosis of obstruction and 8 percent underwent treatment to manage obstructions. New diagnoses of urge incontinence and pelvic prolapse were also high.

"These data reflect the real-world experience of a randomly selected, geographically diverse, older American population and the actual care delivered by the medical community," the authors write. "The high rates of postoperative urinary tract infections, prolapse, and outlet obstruction suggest the need for quality improvement measures in the management of women with incontinence and pelvic prolapse.

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