Long-term effectiveness and safety of open Burch colposuspension vs retropubic midurethral sling for stress urinary incontinence-results from a large comparative study.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2021 06; 224(6):593.e1-593.e8.AJ
There are few adequately powered long-term trials comparing midurethral sling and Burch colposuspension. Recent concerns about synthetic mesh with new stringent clinical and research governance support the need for evidence to facilitate shared decision making.
This study aimed to compare long-term outcomes of open Burch colposuspension with the retropubic midurethral sling.
A matched cohort study of 1344 women with urodynamic stress incontinence (without intrinsic sphincter deficiency) who underwent surgery for stress urinary incontinence. Women had either open Burch colposuspension or the retropubic midurethral sling, from January 2000 to June 2018, in a tertiary center. Follow-up was by chart review and one-time phone follow-up until 2019, using a dedicated database. Primary outcomes were the presence or absence of stress urinary incontinence on follow-up, the success of index surgery based on response to validated questionnaires of patient-reported outcomes, and retreatment rates. Secondary outcomes are described below. Matching (1:3) was done at baseline to avoid confounding.
The study included 1344 women who had either Burch colposuspension (336) or retropubic midurethral sling (1008). Mean follow-up was 13.1 years for Burch colposuspension and 10.1 years for retropubic midurethral sling. In the Burch colposuspension group, 83.0% of patients (279 of 336) reported no ongoing stress urinary incontinence at the time of the latest follow-up vs 85.0% (857 of 1008) in the retropubic midurethral sling group (P=.38). Success in terms of the latest reported International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Urinary Incontinence Short Form (defined as International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire-Urinary Incontinence Short Form score of ≤6) where these data were available were similar within both groups: 76.0% (158 of 208 where this was available) in Burch colposuspension vs 72.1% (437 of 606 where this was available) in retropubic midurethral sling (P=.32). Where this information was available, success defined by a Patient Global Impression of Improvement of "very much improved" and "much improved" was similar between Burch colposuspension and retropubic midurethral sling groups (84.1% [243 of 289] vs 82.0% [651 of 794]; P=.88). Where data were available, 88.1% of women (178 of 202) in the Burch colposuspension group said they were very likely to recommend the surgery to family or a friend vs 85.0% (580 of 682) in retropubic midurethral sling (P=.30).Overall, 3.6% needed repeat incontinence procedures (13 in Burch colposuspension group [3.8%] vs 35 in retropubic midurethral sling group [3.5%]; P=.73). The incidence of mesh exposure was 1.0 %. Notably, 1 Burch colposuspension patient had a suture in the bladder during follow-up; 5 patients have reported long-standing pain across the study population. Overall, 51 women reported new-onset overactive bladder symptoms on follow-up: 10 of 336 (3.0%) had Burch colposuspension and 41 of 1008 (4.1%) had retropubic midurethral sling (P=.41). The need for future prolapse surgery per index procedure was 3.3% after Burch colposuspension vs 1.1% postretropubic midurethral sling (P=.01). Moreover, 9 of the 11 patients who needed a prolapse repair after Burch colposuspension required a posterior repair. The incidence of long-term severe voiding difficulty needing self-catheterization was similar in both groups (0.3% in Burch colposuspension and 0.5 % in retropubic midurethral sling group; P=1.00).
This study shows no difference in success, patient satisfaction, or complications between Burch colposuspension and retropubic midurethral sling, although the risk of posterior compartment prolapse operations after Burch colposuspension is increased. Reoperation rates for incontinence were similar in both groups. Chronic pain was a rare outcome.