Bladder neck suspension (BNS) for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) can have significant morbidity, including bleeding, infection and pain. In an effort to reduce this potential morbidity, we have devised a technique which provides the same suburethral support as a standard anterior vaginal wall sling (AVWS), but without a vaginal or suprapubic incision. We describe this minimally invasive technique.From April 1998 to February 1999, 85 women underwent an incisionless suburethral fascial sling procedure. A transvaginal bone drill was used to place a bone anchor loaded with #1 prolene suture into the inferior aspect of the pubic bone on either side of the urethra. A subepithelial tunnel was created at the level of the bladder neck. A 2 x 7 cm segment of cadaveric fascia lata was placed through the subepithelial tunnel. The sutures were passed through the fascia 5mm from either edge, effectively creating a 6.0 cm sling. Finally, the sutures are tied up to the pubic symphysis.Follow-up was via a self-administered questionnaire and patient interview. Recurrent SUI was noted in 2/85 (3%). New onset urge incontinence was present in 4/85 (5%). Permanent urinary retention has not occurred in either group. All procedures were performed on an outpatient basis and no operative complications occurred.Early results for the incisionless sling compare favorably with the long term results for the AVWS. This minimally invasive approach has thus far not been associated with any significant complications. Elimination of the vaginal and suprapubic incisions has not compromised efficacy, and appears to reduce the incidence of urge incontinence. Long term follow-up will establish the lasting efficacy of this novel surgical technique.
View details for PubMedID 15349559