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'Sling' Implant May Cut Risk of Incontinence After Prolapse Surgery
Date:6/21/2012

the sling group was incomplete bladder emptying.

"We have to be rather careful about submitting our patients to real risks of real surgeries for problems they may or may not have," Buchsbaum said.

In her practice, about eight or nine of 10 women undergoing the prolapse surgery opt to wait and see before getting the sling surgery; one or two say, "'Let's get it over with,'" Buchsbaum said.

After these findings, Buchsbaum said she would be no more apt to encourage women to get the sling surgery at the same time. "This is a study that should help us counsel our patient, not to change practice," she said. "We should not underplay the risk of surgery. The risks are low, but risks are real and for the person who has the complication, it's quite real."

About one in five women will have surgery to repair pelvic organ prolapse in her lifetime, according to the study authors. Some 200,000 women undergo the surgery each year.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on pelvic organ prolapse.

SOURCE: John Wei, M.D., professor, urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Gunhilde Buchsbaum, M.D., urogynecologist and professor, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.; June 20, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine


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