Salvage surgery after failed treatment of synthetic mesh sling complications

Jerry G. Blaivas, Rajveer S. Purohit, James M. Weinberger, Johnson F. Tsui, Jyoti Chouhan, Ruhee Sidhu, Kamron Saleem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose We report our experience with the diagnosis and treatment of refractory synthetic sling complications in women. Materials and Methods This is a retrospective study of consecutive women with failed treatments for mesh sling complications. Before and after surgery the patients completed validated questionnaires and voiding diaries, and underwent uroflow with post-void residuals, pad test, cystourethroscopy and videourodynamic studies. Treatment was individualized, and results were subdivided into the 2 groups of conditions and symptoms. Outcomes were assessed with the Patient Global Impression of Improvement with success classified as a score of 1, improvement as 2 to 3 and failure as 4 to 7. Results A total of 47 women 35 to 83 years old (mean 60) had undergone at least 1 prior operation (range 1 to 4) to correct sling complications. Original sling composition was type 1 mesh in 36 patients and types 2 and 3 in 11. Surgical procedures included sling incision, sling excision, urethrolysis, urethral reconstruction, ureteroneocystotomy, cystectomy and urinary diversion, and enterocystoplasty. Median followup was 2 years (range 0.25 to 12, mean 3). Overall a successful outcome was achieved in 34 of 47 patients (72%) after the first salvage surgery. Reasons for failure were multiple for each patient. Of the 13 patients with treatment failure 9 subsequently underwent 14 operations. Success/improvement was achieved in 5 women (56%) after continent urinary diversion (1), continent urinary diversion and cystectomy (1), partial cystectomy and augmentation cystoplasty (1), biological sling and sinus tract excision (1), and vaginal mesh excision (1). Conclusions Success after the initial failure of mesh sling complications repair is possible but multiple surgeries may be required. Each symptom should be addressed separately.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1286
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • postoperative complications
  • salvage therapy
  • suburethral slings
  • surgical mesh
  • urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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