Introduction In the treatment of prolapse and incontinence, the choice of surgical procedure often depends not only on the clinical findings but also on the age of the patient. Uncertainty exists at present regarding the effect of patient age on treatment outcomes for both vaginal and laparoscopic procedures. The aim of this study is therefore to compare both the anatomical outcome after prolapse surgery and the functional outcome after incontinence surgery in the context of the treatment of stress urinary incontinence in older and younger patients. Patients/Methods This is a retrospective single-centre study conducted at a university site. Over the study period, a total of 407 women underwent surgery, 278 of whom were < 70 and 129 ≥ 70 years of age. They were assigned to one of three treatment groups (prolapse surgery, incontinence surgery or a combination of both types of surgery) and were then subjected to statistical analysis after assessment of the anatomical and functional outcome after 3-6 months. Results The most common form of prolapse among the 407 evaluated patients was in the anterior and middle compartment, with a higher degree of severity being diagnosed in the older patients. Grade 4 prolapse according to the Baden-Walker system was thus present in the anterior compartment in 15.6 vs. 28.8% (p = 0.033) and in the middle compartment in 5.7 vs. 23.7% (p < 0.001) of cases. Younger women underwent vaginal mesh implantation less frequently and laparoscopic sacropexy more frequently for this overall. The proportion of cases of combined prolapse and incontinence surgery was the same in both groups. Overall, high success rates were observed in both younger and older patients following prolapse and incontinence surgery. These rates were 93.5 vs. 84.8% (p = 0.204) after prolapse surgery and 92.8 vs. 84.2% (p = 0.261) after incontinence surgery. A significant disadvantage for the older patients was the persistence of stress urinary incontinence after prolapse surgery alone (19.6 vs. 50%, p = 0.030) and the rate of occult (de novo) stress urinary incontinence (7.4 vs. 20%, p = 0.030). Conclusion Our data show that both pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence can be treated with surgery with good results in women aged ≥ 70 years. It was thus possible to show for the first time in a large patient population that older women should not be denied appropriate surgery but can be offered the same range of surgical options as younger patients.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)
- Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)