NIH Studies Female Incontinence Surgeries

BETHESDA, Md., May 18 (UPI) — A U.S. study has determined two common operations for stress urinary incontinence are equally effective in helping women achieve similar levels of dryness.

In a National Institutes of Health-supported study, a team of urologists and urogynecologists compared the treatments — called mid-urethral slings — and found the two most common procedures are similar in their rate of cure, although each surgery has different risks.

The researchers said a mid-urethral sling is a synthetic mesh material that acts as a hammock, or sling, to support the urethra and prevent leakage. The urethra is the tube through which urine passes out of the body.

“This rigorous, large-scale, comparative effectiveness trial represents a major milestone in treatment for stress urinary incontinence, an underdiagnosed public health problem affecting millions of American women,” said Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Investments in this kind of research enable women and their doctors to weigh more accurately the benefits and risks of available treatment options.”

The study is available in the early online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine and will appear in the journal’s June 3 print edition.

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