Invasive bladder testing before incontinence surgery may be unnecessary

May 2, 2012

Invasive and costly tests commonly performed on women before surgery for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) may not be necessary, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine and the Urinary Incontinence Treatment Network. The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is published online May 2 by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The study, which compared results after a combination of a preoperative check-up and function tests to an office check-up alone, found that who only had the office examination experienced equally successful outcomes after surgery.

"We wanted to know if invasive tests are really needed in women who have SUI, or if observation alone could achieve the same outcomes," said study lead -author Charles Nager, MD, director of Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery at UC San Diego Health System. "The findings of our study argue that the tests provide no added benefit for surgical treatment success to patients."

SUI affects up to 30 million American women and causes leakage of urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing, running or lifting heavy objects. Bladder tests that use technology such as imaging, pressure monitors and muscle and nerve sensors, are commonly used on these women before surgery to characterize the degree of incontinence and to guide decisions about treatment options. However, the tests are uncomfortable, costly and increase the risk of .

In the study, half of a group of 630 women with uncomplicated SUI underwent a preoperative office evaluation with bladder function testing. The other half had an office evaluation only. The proportion of women who achieved treatment success was similar, 76.9 percent versus 77.2 percent, respectively, with no significant differences between groups in quality of life, patient satisfaction or voiding dysfunction – an inability to empty the bladder completely.

Explore further: Botox now used for urinary incontinence

Related Stories

Botox now used for urinary incontinence

March 14, 2012

When you think of Botox injections, you probably think of getting rid of unwanted wrinkles around the eyes or forehead, but recently the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved using the injections to help patients ...

Recommended for you

International study proves old blood is as good as new

October 24, 2016

It's been long thought that when blood transfusions are needed, it may be best to use the freshest blood, but McMaster University researchers have led a large international study proving that it is not so.

Study finds mixed results for use of mesh for hernia repair

October 18, 2016

Among patients undergoing incisional hernia repair, the use of mesh to reinforce the repair was associated with a lower risk of hernia recurrence over 5 years compared with when mesh was not used, although with long-term ...

Traditional surgery style worthwhile, says piles trial

October 10, 2016

Results of a five year trial on haemorrhoids (commonly known as piles), jointly sponsored by NHS Highland and the University of Aberdeen, have this week been published in The Lancet, one of the world's oldest and best known ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.