Sling procedure shows efficacy in 5-year follow-up

Atlanta-A sling procedure for women with stress urinary incontinence known as the distal urethral polypropylene sling (DUPS) procedure results in minimal complications and produces long-lasting results, according to 5-year results presented here at the AUA annual meeting.

Matthew Rutman, MD, assistant professor of urology at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, and colleagues conducted a prospective analysis of consecutive patients who underwent DUPS from November 1999 to April 2000. Sixty-nine patients were followed over a minimum of 5 years. Patients reported surgical outcomes by responding to questions about symptom bother and quality of life. Researchers were blinded to their responses.

He observed that the durability of this procedure is likely to continue, as failures typically are seen within 5 years after treatment. Dr. Rutman added that DUPS is easy to perform and has reproducible results.

"It's also very inexpensive, at $15 a procedure (cost of the mesh)," he said. "In a day when prepared anti-incontinence kits cost almost $1,000 and you are trying to be cost-efficient, this is an excellent option for hospitals, physicians, and patients."

'Excellent' results

Steven P. Petrou, MD, associate dean of surgery and surgical specialties at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL, noted that the current study describes "excellent 5-year results," and said the authors are "to be lauded for the extremely rigid criteria to which they subjected their data analysis."

"The results compare very favorably with similar, more expensive commercially available devices," Dr. Petrou told Urology Times. "Future quantification of possible erosions and new-onset voiding dysfunction will only increase widespread utilization of this facile and economic technique."

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