PURPOSE: Urethral bulking agents (UBA) have traditionally been offered as salvage procedures for recurrent stress urinary incontinence (SUI). We compare the success of UBA in patients that had undergone a previous procedure for SUI (Salvage-UBA) to the SUI surgery naïve (Primary-UBA). We hypothesised a positive effect in both Primary and Salvage-UBA with potentially poorer rates of response in the salvage group.
METHODS: Retrospective case series of patients having their first UBA (2010-2018). Primary outcome was to assess any difference in patient reported success between groups. Patient-reported improvement was assessed on a 4-point scale: 'cured, improved, no change, worse' and treatment 'success' defined as 'cured' or 'improved'. A multivariate analysis, adjusting for plausible differences between groups, was undertaken in IBM SPSS Statistics (2016).
RESULTS: 135 Primary-UBA and 38 Salvage-UBA were performed. Complete follow-up was obtained for 114 patients (66%): 86 Primary and 28 Salvage. Median follow-up time: 33 months. In 2012, 47% (8/17) of all UBA were Salvage-UBA, whilst in 2018, the majority were Primary-UBA (92%, 46/50). Success was not significantly different between Salvage-UBA 75% (21/28) versus Primary-UBA 67% (58/86) (Wald χ2 = 0.687, df = 1, p = 0.407). Top-up rates were similar: 14% (n = 4/28, Salvage-UBA) versus 15% (n = 13/86, Primary-UBA) (χ2 = 0.011, df = 1, p = 0.914).
CONCLUSION: The number of women opting for UBA has increased substantially. No significant differences were noted for success with Salvage-UBA compared to Primary-UBA.