Original Article

International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1271-1278

First online:

Long-term follow-up of the retropubic tension-free vaginal tape procedure

  • Rune SvenningsenAffiliated withDepartment of Gynaecology, Oslo University Hospital Email author 
  • , Anne C. StaffAffiliated withDepartment of Gynaecology, Oslo University HospitalFaculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
  • , Hjalmar A. SchiøtzAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Vestfold Hospital
  • , Kari WesternAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Østfold Hospital
  • , Sigurd Kulseng-HanssenAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Asker and Bærum Hospital

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Introduction and hypothesis

Retropubic tension-free vaginal tape (TVT) was introduced in 1996 as a new and innovative surgical approach in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI). In this study we evaluate the long-term objective and subjective outcomes in a non-selected patient population 10 years after the retropubic TVT procedure.


All women (603) operated on with retropubic TVT at four gynecological departments from September 1998 through December 2000 were identified, and those still alive (542) were invited to participate in this population-based prospective study. For subjective data a short-form urinary incontinence disease-specific questionnaire was used. For objective evaluation the women underwent a stress test. Data collected were merged with previously stored data in the Norwegian National Incontinence Registry Database.


We included 483 women; 327 attended a clinical follow-up consultation and 156 had a telephone interview. Median duration of follow-up was 129 months. Objective cure rate was 89.9 %, subjective cure rate was 76.1 %, and 82.6 % of the patients stated they were “very satisfied” with their surgery (treatment satisfaction rate). Only 2.3 % of the women had undergone repeat SUI surgery. Subjective voiding difficulties were reported by 22.8 %, the majority describing slow stream or intermittency. De novo urgency incontinence increased significantly from 4.1 % 6–12 months after surgery to 14.9 % at the 10-year follow-up.


Long-term objective and subjective outcome after retropubic TVT is excellent with a low number of re-operations even in a non-selected cohort of patients.


Long-term follow-up Mid-urethral slings Stress urinary incontinence