Long-term follow-up of bulking agents for stress urinary incontinence in older patients

Francesco Plotti, Roberto Montera, Corrado Terranova, Daniela Luvero, Francesca Marrocco, Andrea Miranda, Alessandra Gatti, Carlo De Cicco Nardone, Roberto Angioli, Giuseppe Scaletta
Menopause: the Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2018, 25 (6): 663-667

OBJECTIVE: Implantation of bulking agents represents a noninvasive procedure for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in all patients where a more invasive procedure may increase perioperative risks. The primary aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy over time of bulking agent implantation. As secondary aims, we evaluated long-term (patients' subjective) satisfaction rate, rate of de novo urinary symptoms, and the impact of urinary incontinence on the quality of life.

METHODS: All patients who underwent implantation of bulking agents between 1999 and 2013 at Campus Bio-Medico of Rome were retrospectively considered eligible for this study. Patients were interviewed using two standardized questionnaires: International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form and Patient Global Impression of Improvement. Cure rate, improvement rate, failure rate, and the onset of new symptoms were also investigated through specific questions. The original group of patients was then divided into two subgroups according to follow-up time (group A: shorter than median follow-up; group B: longer than median follow-up).

RESULTS: Sixty-three patients were enrolled. Mean follow-up was 8.3 ± 3.5 years with a range of 3.5 to 18 years. Fifteen (24%) cured patients (cure rate), 12 (19%) improved patients (improvement rate), 36 (57%) failed treatment (failure rate). We reported an overall success rate of 43%. No differences were reported among groups in terms of overall success rate (42% vs 44% for group A and group B, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Bulking agent implantation is an effective treatment for people with intrinsic sphincter deficiency (type III SUI) and it is a valid alternative to more invasive surgeries in older patients. Moreover, it shows an overall success rate (43%) that remains high even after many years.

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