Abdominal vs Sub-Inguinal Placement of Pressure Regulating Balloon for Artificial Urinary Sphincter

Urology. 2022 Dec:170:216-220. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2022.07.034. Epub 2022 Aug 2.


Objectives: To compare peri- and postoperative outcomes following artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) insertion using an abdominal versus a sub-inguinal counterincision for pressure regulating balloon (PRB) placement.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of all AUS placements by a single surgeon from 2010-2020. Demographic, clinical, and surgical details were obtained from chart review. The cohorts were divided by PRB placement technique (sub-inguinal, abdominal, and attempted sub-inguinal converted intra-operatively to abdominal ["conversion group"]).

Results: There were 182 AUS devices placed. The sub-inguinal approach was successfully completed in 132/144 (92%) and converted to abdominal PRB placement in 12/144 (8.3%). The risk of conversion was not increased by prior laparoscopically-assisted robotic prostatectomy (LRP) or radiotherapy (RT). Median operative time was 62, 75, and 77 minutes for sub-inguinal, abdominal, and conversion groups, respectively ( P = 0.30). Time to device activation was 25.0, 32.0, and 37.5 days for abdominal, sub-inguinal, and conversion groups, respectively (P<0.01). There were no bowel or bladder injuries and no PRB herniation in any group; however, there were five instances of pump migration superiorly, all in the sub-inguinal or conversion groups (P = 0.05).

Conclusions: The sub-inguinal approach to PRB placement during AUS is safe and can be successfully completed over 90% of the time. However, it is not faster than the abdominal approach to PRB placement and it is associated with an increased risk of pump migration, though the latter may be confounded by the sub-dartos pouch for pump placement that was used in all sub-inguinal cases.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatectomy / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urethra
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress* / surgery
  • Urinary Sphincter, Artificial* / adverse effects