TVT and TVT-Obturator: comparison of two operative procedures

Menahem Neuman
European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology 2007, 131 (1): 89-92

AIM: To compare two anti-incontinence operations: the tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) and the TVT-Obturator for the first two 75-patient groups.

METHODS: One surgeon operated on two patient groups with urodynamically proven urinary stress incontinence. The first 75-patient group in 1998 included the first TVT procedures performed according to Ulmsten [Ulmsten U, Henriksson L, Johnson P, Varhos G. An ambulatory surgical procedure under local anesthesia for treatment of female urinary incontinence. Int Urogynecol J 1996;7:81-6]. Follow-up lasted for 5-6 years. The second 75-patient group in 2004 included the first TVT-Obturator operations performed according to [De Leval J. Novel surgical technique for the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence: transobturator vaginal tape inside-out. Eur. Urol. 2003;44:724-30]. Follow-up lasted for 6-13 months.

RESULTS: The two patient groups were similar from the demographic and therapeutic points of view. The TVT-Obturator procedure required neither bladder catheterization nor intra-operative diagnostic cystoscopy. TVT-related bladder penetration (8.0%), post-operative voiding difficulties (5.0%), intra-operative bleeding (4.0%), post-operative field infection (2.7%), and post-operative pelvic floor relaxation (1.3%) were not noted with the TVT-Obturator. The early therapeutic failure rates were 2.7% for the TVT and 1.3% for the TVT-Obturator, and neither bowel nor urethral injuries were recorded.

CONCLUSIONS: The surgeons' learning curves of these two minimally invasive surgical procedures for the treatment of female urinary stress incontinence are comparable. The safety and cost-effectiveness of the TVT are well-established. The TVT-Obturator, a novel mid-urethral sling, was designed to overcome some of the TVT-related operative complications. The TVT-Obturator patients seem to have less intra-operative and post-operative surgical complications than the TVT patients. However, long-term comparative data collection is required prior to drawing solid conclusions concerning the superiority of one of these two operative techniques.

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