Midurethral slings have become the most preferred surgical treatment for female urinary incontinence.
To compare the efficacy and safety of two midurethral sling procedures with a different technique of sling insertion 5 yr after intervention.
Multicenter randomized clinical trial conducted in seven public hospitals in Finland including primary cases of stress urinary incontinence.
Surgical treatment with the retropubic tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) procedure or the transobturator tension-free vaginal tape (TVT-O) procedure.
Objective treatment success criteria were a negative stress test, a negative 24-h pad test, and no retreatment for stress incontinence. Patient satisfaction was assessed by condition-specific quality-of-life questionnaires.
A total of 95% of the included women could be assessed according to the protocol 5 yr after surgery. The objective cure rate was 84.7% in the TVT group and 86.2% in the TVT-O group, with no statistical difference between the groups. Subjective treatment satisfaction was 94.2% in the TVT group and 91.7% in the TVT-O group, with no difference between groups. Complication rates were low, with no difference between groups.
Both objective and subjective cure rates were >80% in both groups even when women lost to follow-up were included as failures. The complication rates were low, with no difference between the groups. No late-onset adverse effects of the tape material were seen.
Female urinary stress incontinence can be treated surgically with minimally invasive midurethral sling procedures. Two main approaches of sling placement have been developed: the retropubic and the transobturatory. We compared both approaches and followed the patients for 5 yr. We found no difference in cure rate between the procedures, and patient satisfaction was high.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00379314.