, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1265-1269
Date: 06 Apr 2013

Seventeen years’ follow-up of the tension-free vaginal tape procedure for female stress urinary incontinence

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Introduction and hypothesis

The minimally invasive tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) operation has become the “gold standard” of incontinence surgery. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the long-term effect of the tape material and to assess the continence status 17 years after surgery


A cohort of 90 women operated upon with the TVT procedure at three Nordic centers has been prospectively followed for 17 years. All of the women alive according to national registries were contacted and invited to visit the clinics for evaluation. Pelvic examination was performed to reveal any adverse effects of the tape material. Objective and subjective continence status were assessed by a cough stress test and the patients’ global impression of improvement as well as by condition-specific quality of life questionnaires.


Seventy-eight percent of the potentially assessable women were evaluated either by a clinic visit or by a telephone interview. One case of a minimal, symptom-free tape extrusion was seen. No other tape complications occurred. Over 90 % of the women were objectively continent. Eighty-seven per cent were subjectively cured or significantly improved.


The TVT operation is durable for 17 years, with a high satisfaction rate and no serious long-term tape-induced adverse effects