Adjustable sling for the treatment of post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence: systematic review and meta-analysis

ABSTRACT Urinary incontinence after prostatectomy has a significant negative impact on the quality of life of the patient. The surgical treatment includes several models of male slings, such as adjustable slings. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of adjustable sling in the treatment of post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence. This is a systematic review of literature. The following electronic databases were searched until January 2018: PubMed®, Embase, CENTRAL and LILACS. The keywords used in the search strategies were: “prostatectomy” [Mesh], “urinary incontinence” [Mesh] and “suburethral slings” [Mesh]. Randomized clinical trials and observational studies, with or without Control Group, and follow-up of more than 12 months were included. Only one randomized study with high risk of bias was included and it concluded the effectiveness equivalence between adjustable and non-adjustable slings. All other studies were cases series with patients of varying levels of incontinence intensity and history of pelvic radiation therapy and previous surgeries. The meta-analysis for 0 pad in 24 hours demonstrated an effectiveness of 53%. For the 0 to 1 pad test in 24 hours, the meta-analysis resulted in an effectiveness of 69%. Risk factors for surgery failure include prior radiation, severity of post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence, and previous surgeries. The meta-analysis of the extrusion rate was 9.8% and the most commonly reported adverse effects were pain and local infection. Evidence of low quality indicates that adjustable slings are effective for treating post-prostatectomy urinary incontinence, with frequency of adverse events similar to the surgical option considered gold standard (the artificial urinary sphincter implant).