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The role of synthetic slings in male stress incontinence.



Our primary aim was to compare the outcomes of synthetic bone-anchored male slings (BAMS) and transobturator male slings (TOMS), to identify preoperative risk factors for failure, and to evaluate patient satisfaction with each procedure.

Patients and methods

Charts were reviewed retrospectively of patients who underwent synthetic BAMS or TOMS from 2000 to 2011. Data were categorised into groups based on outcomes of 'dry', 'improved' and 'failure'. Success was defined as completely dry or an improvement by >50% in daily pad use. The data analysed included demographics, daily pad use before and after surgery, previous urethral insult, type of prostatectomy, and urodynamic study variables. Data were analysed using logistical regression, the t-test and chi-square analysis, where appropriate.


Sixty-eight men were analysed (30 in each group; eight patients were excluded). Daily pad use for the TOMS group changed from 3.5 before to 1.5 after surgery (P = 0.001), whilst the BAMS group was unchanged from 3.9 to 3.5 (P = 0.747). The TOMS group had a success rate of 23/30 (77%) and a mean (SD) patient global impression of improvement score of 1.67 (0.90), whilst the BAMS group had a success rate of 11/30 (37%) and mean (SD) score of 2.64 (1.12). Urethral insult (P = 0.001) and preoperative pad use (P = 0.047) were significant predictors of failure.


TOMS gave better outcomes than BAMS in both performance and patient satisfaction. Patients with a greater severity of incontinence and evidence of urethral insult before surgery should be counselled about the likelihood of suboptimal outcomes with any type of sling placement.

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