International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 203–209 | Cite as

Changing surgical trends for female stress urinary incontinence in England

  • Martino Maria ZaccheEmail author
  • Sambit Mukhopadhyay
  • Ilias Giarenis
Original Article


Introduction and hypothesis

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) surgery has significantly evolved with the introduction of synthetic midurethral slings (MUS). However, following reports from the US Food and Drug Administration and European Commission, the use of vaginal meshes in urogynaecology has been largely scrutinised. We analysed trends in female SUI surgery in England from 2000 to 2017.


The Hospital Episode Statistics database was retrieved from the Health and Social Care Information Centre website. Specific four-character codes of the evolving OPCS-4 coding system were used to quantify SUI operations.


We analysed 180,773 admissions from 2000 to 2017. A steep rise in MUS use was noted until 2008–2009, followed by a consistent drop, with a nadir of 6383 procedures in 2016–2017. Removal of MUS has become increasingly popular, with a peak of 591 in 2012–2013. Numbers for traditional continence operations remained low. Colposuspensions markedly decreased to 189 in 2012–2013, with a slight positive trend only in the last few years, while autologous sling use costantly dropped from 262 to 124 throughout the study period. Admissions for urethral bulking agents increased from 650 to 1324 in the last 2 years.


MUS represents the most commonly performed procedure for SUI, despite an obvious reduction in the last 8 years. Urethral bulking agents are becoming more popular, while the numbers of colposuspensions and autologous slings are still low. Training programmes should take into account current shifts in surgical practice.


Stress urinary incontinence Surgery Mesh Trends 



No funding was received for this project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Martino Zacche does not have any conflict of interest. Sambit Mukhopadhyay accepted cover of travel expensed from Dynamesh, Astellas, Kebomed UK, and Cook Medical. Ilias Giarenis received speaker honoraria from Astellas.


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of UrogynaecologyNorfolk and Norwich University HospitalNorwichUK

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