The impact of prior urethral sling on artificial urinary sphincter outcomes

Matthew J. Ziegelmann, Brian J. Linder, Marcelino E. Rivera, Boyd R. Viers, Daniel S. Elliott


Introduction: We sought to evaluate device outcomes in men who underwent primary artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) placement after failed male urethral sling (MUS).

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of 990 men who underwent an AUS procedure between 2003 and 2014. Of these, 540 were primary AUS placements, including 30 (5.5%) with a history of MUS. AUS revisions and explantations were compared between men stratified by the presence of prior sling. Hazard ratios (HR) adjusting for competing risks were used to determine the association with prior sling and AUS outcomes (infection/ erosion, urethral atrophy, and mechanical malfunction), while overall device failure was estimated using Kaplan-Meier and Coxregression analysis.

Results: There was no significant difference in age, body mass index, prior prostatectomy, or pelvic radiation when stratified by history of MUS. However, patients with a history of MUS were more likely to have undergone prior collagen injection (p=0.01). On univariate and multivariate analysis, prior MUS was not associated with device failure (HR 1.54; p=0.27). Three-year overall device survival did not significantly differ between those with and without prior MUS (70% vs. 85%; p=0.21). Also, there were no significant differences in the incidence of device infection/erosion, mechanical malfunction, and urethral atrophy.

Conclusions: AUS remains a viable treatment option for men with persistent or recurrent stress urinary incontinence after MUS. However, while not statistically significant, we identified a trend towards lower three-year device outcomes in patients with prior urethral sling. These findings indicate the need for longer-term studies to determine if slings pose an increased hazard.

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