Study finds comparable outcomes for two commonly used procedures to treat pelvic organ prolapse

Published on March 11, 2014 at 10:50 PM · No Comments

Two common procedures to treat pelvic organ prolapse without vaginal mesh are comparable in safety and efficacy, according to research published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers also found that behavioral and pelvic floor muscle therapy (BPMT) did not improve urinary incontinence or prolapse symptoms in affected women.

Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the uterus and/or vaginal walls protrude outside of the body. Up to 73 percent of these women report other pelvic floor disorders such as incontinence. More then 300,000 surgeries are performed annually in the United States to correct pelvic organ prolapse. Two common prolapse procedures evaluated in this study included uterosacral ligament suspension (ULS) and sacrospinous ligament fixation (SSLF).

"Little has been known until now about how these procedures compare to each other," said Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, study co-author and dean, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "This study provides guidance to physicians on the benefits and risks of two widely used surgical interventions without vaginal prolapse mesh."

This study evaluated 374 women. A portion of the women underwent the ULS procedure (n = 188) while the other group had the SSLF surgery (n = 186). Success rates (59.2 percent versus 60.5 percent) and adverse events (16.5 percent versus 16.7 percent) were similar two years following the surgeries.

BPMT is an effective treatment for pelvic floor symptoms, which includes pelvic floor muscle training, individualized progressive pelvic floor muscle exercises and education on behavioral strategies to reduce incontinence. However, BPMT was not associated with greater improvements in incontinence symptoms at 6 months or prolapse at 2 years compared with usual care in study participants. Usual care included routine teaching and standardized postoperative instructions.


Loyola University Health System

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