Purpose: We evaluated the long-term results of Vesica (Boston Scientific Corp., Watertown, Massachusetts) percutaneous bladder neck suspension for stress urinary incontinence.
Materials and methods: A total of 40 women with urodynamically proven stress urinary incontinence (SUI) underwent Vesica percutaneous bladder neck suspension between 1994 and 1997. Patients were assessed at 6 months, 12 months and 5 years with a simple questionnaire to elicit whether they had experienced any adverse effects, whether they were dry and whether further investigation or a surgical incontinence procedure was offered.
Results: Only 1 of the 40 women was lost to long-term followup. Initial results were excellent with 85% of women reporting complete dryness at 6 months. However, wound infections developed in 16% of patients secondary to hematomas in the suprapubic incisions and 10% required a period of intermittent self-catheterization. By 12 months only 46% of women remained dry, although most only reported occasional leakage. At 5 years 69% of patients had recurrent SUI and more than two-thirds of this group (70%) had symptoms severe enough to be offered a further surgical procedure. Patients undergoing subsequent secondary procedures were found to have fraying of the suspensory sutures at the bone anchor.
Conclusions: Initial results of this minimally invasive procedure were excellent and despite the lack of long-term data the technique rapidly came into widespread use. The 5-year outcome shows a 31% continence rate. We no longer advocate this particular form of bladder neck suspension for SUI.