Stemming the tide of mild to moderate post-prostatectomy incontinence: A retrospective comparison of transobturator male slings and the artificial urinary sphincter
Keywords:Artificial urinary sphincter, sling, prostatectomy, incontinence
Introduction: The AUS remains the gold standard treatment for post-prostatectomy incontinence (PPI), although most patients with mild-moderate PPI prefer a sling without strong evidence of procedural equivalence. This study compares outcomes of 2 procedures for the treatment of mild-moderate PPI.
Methods: A retrospective review of 124 patients (76 transobturator sling, 48 AUS) with mild-moderate PPI requiring intervention over an 8-year period. The primary outcome was continence. Secondary outcomes included global patient satisfaction, improvement, and complication rates. Mild to moderate incontinence was defined as requiring ≤5 pads/day.
Results: There was no significant difference in age (66.2 vs. 68.1 years; p = 0.17) or prostate cancer characteristics for slings and AUS, respectively. AUS patients had higher Charlson comorbidity scores and were more likely to have previous radiotherapy. Median length of follow up was 24 months for slings and 42 months for AUS. There was no difference in continence rates, 88.2% vs. 87.5% (p = 0.79), rate of improvement, 94.7% vs. 95.8% (p = 1.00), or patient satisfaction, 93.4% vs. 91.7% (p = 0.73), for slings and AUS, respectively. Complication rates were equivalent (19.7% vs.16.7%; p = 1.00), though a significantly higher proportion of complications with AUS were Clavien Grade 3 (0% vs. 75%; p = 0.006).
Conclusions: For mild to moderate PPI there is no difference incontinence, satisfaction, or improvement rates, between AUS and slings. AUS complications tend to be more severe. Our study supports the use of slings as first-line treatment for mild-moderate PPI.
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