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Artificial urinary sphincters for male stress urinary incontinence: current perspectives

Authors Cordon B, Singla N, Singla A

Received 5 May 2016

Accepted for publication 2 June 2016

Published 4 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 175—183


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Billy H Cordon,1 Nirmish Singla,1 Ajay K Singla2

1Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, 2Department of Urology, University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, OH, USA

Abstract: The artificial urinary sphincter (AUS), which has evolved over many years, has become a safe and reliable treatment for stress urinary incontinence and is currently the gold standard. After 4 decades of existence, there is substantial experience with the AUS. Today AUS is most commonly placed for postprostatectomy stress urinary incontinence. Only a small proportion of urologists routinely place AUS. In a survey in 2005, only 4% of urologists were considered high-volume AUS implanters, performing >20 per year. Globally, ~11,500 AUSs are placed annually. Over 400 articles have been published regarding the outcomes of AUS, with a wide variance in success rates ranging from 61% to 100%. Generally speaking, the AUS has good long-term outcomes, with social continence rates of ~79% and high patient satisfaction usually between 80% and 90%. Despite good outcomes, a substantial proportion of patients, generally ~25%, will require revision surgery, with the rate of revision increasing with time. Complications requiring revision include infection, urethral atrophy, erosion, and mechanical failure. Most infections are gram-positive skin flora. Urethral atrophy and erosion lie on a spectrum resulting from the same problem, constant urethral compression. However, these two complications are managed differently. Mechanical failure is usually a late complication occurring on average later than infection, atrophy, or erosions. Various techniques may be used during revisions, including cuff relocation, downsizing, transcorporal cuff placement, or tandem cuff placement. Patient satisfaction does not appear to be affected by the need for revision as long as continence is restored. Additionally, AUS following prior sling surgery has comparable outcomes to primary AUS placement. Several new inventions are on the horizon, although none have been approved for use in the US at this point.

Keywords: artificial urinary sphincter, stress urinary incontinence, post prostatectomy incontinence, prostheses and implants, review

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