Urinary incontinence is a common and potentially debilitating problem. Open retropubic colposuspension is a surgical treatment which involves lifting the tissues near the bladder neck and proximal urethra in the area behind the anterior pubic bones to correct deficient urethral closure.
To assess the effects of open retropubic colposuspension for the treatment of urinary incontinence.
We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Register (searched 13 March 2012), which contains trials identified from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and CINAHL, and handsearching of journals and conference proceedings, and the reference lists of relevant articles. We contacted investigators to locate extra studies.
Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials in women with symptoms or urodynamic diagnoses of stress or mixed urinary incontinence that included open retropubic colposuspension surgery in at least one trial group.
Studies were evaluated for methodological quality or susceptibility to bias and appropriateness for inclusion and data extracted by two of the review authors. Trial data were analysed by intervention. Where appropriate, a summary statistic was calculated.
This review included 53 trials involving a total of 5244 women.Overall cure rates were 68.9% to 88.0% for open retropubic colposuspension. Two small studies suggested lower incontinence rates after open retropubic colposuspension compared with conservative treatment. Similarly, one trial suggested lower incontinence rates after open retropubic colposuspension compared to anticholinergic treatment. Evidence from six trials showed a lower incontinence rate after open retropubic colposuspension than after anterior colporrhaphy. Such benefit was maintained over time (risk ratio (RR) for incontinence 0.51; 95% CI 0.34 to 0.76 before the first year, RR 0.43; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.57 at one to five years, RR 0.49; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.75 in periods beyond five years).Evidence from 20 trials in comparison with suburethral slings (trans-vaginal tape or transobturator tape) found no significant difference in incontinence rates in all time periods assessed.In comparison with needle suspension, there was a lower incontinence rate after colposuspension in the first year after surgery (RR 0.66; 95% CI 0.42 to 1.03), after the first year (RR 0.48; 95% CI 0.33 to 0.71), and beyond five years (RR 0.32; 95% CI 15 to 0.71).Patient-reported incontinence rates at short, medium and long-term follow-up showed no significant differences between open and laparoscopic retropubic colposuspension, but with wide confidence intervals. In two trials incontinence was less common after the Burch (RR 0.38; 95% CI 0.18 to 0.76) than after the Marshall Marchetti Krantz procedure at one to five year follow-up. There were few data at any other follow-up times.In general, the evidence available does not show a higher morbidity or complication rate with open retropubic colposuspension compared to the other open surgical techniques, although pelvic organ prolapse is more common than after anterior colporrhaphy and sling procedures.