Medium-Term Outcomes of Conservative and Surgical Treatments for Stress Urinary Incontinence: A Medicare Claims Analysis

Evelyn F. Hall, Daniel H. Biller, Joanna L. Buss, Tanaz Ferzandi, Gabriela E. Halder, Tyler M. Muffly, Katelin B. Nickel, Mikio Nihira, Margaret A. Olsen, Shannon L. Wallace, Jerry L. Lowder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the 3- to 5-year retreatment outcomes for conservatively and surgically treated urinary incontinence (UI) in a population of women 66 years and older. Methods: This retrospective cohort study used 5% Medicare data to evaluate UI retreatment outcomes of women undergoing physical therapy (PT), pessary treatment, or sling surgery. The data set used inpatient, outpatient, and carrier claims from 2008 to 2016 in women 66 years and older with fee-for-service coverage. Treatment failure was defined as receiving another UI treatment (pessary, PT, sling, Burch urethropexy, or urethral bulking) or repeat sling. A secondary analysis was performed where additional treatment courses of PT or pessary were also considered a treatment failure. Survival analysis was used to evaluate the time from treatment initiation to retreatment. Results: Between 2008 and 2013, 13,417 women were included with an index UI treatment, and follow-up continued through 2016. In this cohort, 41.4% received pessary treatment, 31.8% received PT, and 26.8% underwent sling surgery. In the primary analysis, pessaries had the lowest treatment failure rate compared with PT (P<0.001) and sling surgery (P<0.001; survival probability, 0.94 [pessary], 0.90 [PT], 0.88 [sling]). In the analysis where retreatment with PT or a pessary was considered a failure, sling surgery had the lowest retreatment rate (survival probability, 0.58 [pessary], 0.81 [PT], 0.88 [sling]; P<0.001 for all comparisons). Conclusions: In this administrative database analysis, there was a small but statistically significant difference in treatment failure among women undergoing sling surgery, PT, or pessary treatment, but pessary use was commonly associated with the need for repeat pessary fittings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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