International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 1321–1326 | Cite as

Predictors of vaginal mesh exposure after midurethral sling placement: a case–control study

  • Brian J. Linder
  • Sherif A. El-Nashar
  • Daniel A. Carranza Leon
  • Emanuel C. Trabuco
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

Female stress urinary incontinence is highly prevalent, and synthetic midurethral sling placement is the most common type of anti-incontinence surgery performed in the USA. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with surgery used to treated vaginal mesh exposure after midurethral sling placement for stress urinary incontinence.


We identified women who underwent anti-incontinence procedures from January 2002 through December 2012. Patients with vaginal mesh exposure undergoing surgical repair after midurethral sling placement were compared with a control group without mesh exposure in a 1:3 ratio. Patients with ObTape sling placement (Mentor Corporation) were excluded. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate associations between clinical risk factors and vaginal mesh exposure.


Overall, 2,123 patients underwent primary sling placement, with 27 (1.3 %) having vaginal mesh exposure necessitating surgical repair. Patients with mesh exposure were more likely to have undergone previous bariatric surgery (P = 0.008), hemoglobin <13 g/dL (P = 0.006), premenopausal status (P = 0.008), age <50 years (P = 0.001), and the retropubic approach to sling placement (P = 0.03). Multivariate analysis identified these risk factors: previous bariatric surgery (odds ratio [OR], 7.0; 95 % CI, 1.1–61.4), retropubic approach (OR, 5.7; 95 % CI, 1.1–107.0), preoperative hemoglobin <13 g/dL (OR, 2.8; 95 % CI, 1.1–7.5), and premenopausal status (OR, 2.6; 95 % CI, 1.0–7.3). Among postmenopausal patients, those with mesh exposure were significantly more likely to receive preoperative estrogen therapy (OR, 12.4; 95 % CI, 2.7–57.8).


Previous bariatric surgery, retropubic approach, premenopausal status, and lower preoperative hemoglobin were associated with a significantly increased risk of surgery for vaginal mesh exposure after midurethral sling placement. Recognizing these factors can improve preoperative patient counseling.


Bariatric surgery Complication Midurethral sling Vaginal exposure 



Area under the curve


Receiver operator characteristic


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian J. Linder
    • 1
  • Sherif A. El-Nashar
    • 2
  • Daniel A. Carranza Leon
    • 2
  • Emanuel C. Trabuco
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of UrologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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