Refractory overactive bladder after urethrolysis for bladder outlet obstruction: Management with sacral neuromodulation

Jonathan S. Starkman, John W. Duffy, Christopher E. Wolter, Melissa R. Kaufman, Harriette M. Scarpero, Roger R. Dmochowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Refractory overactive bladder (OAB) after urethrolysis for iatrogenic bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) is a clinical dilemma without established guidelines for management. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of sacral neuromodulation (SNM) in the management of this complex patient population. Retrospective review identified eight patients who underwent SNM secondary to refractory OAB after urethrolysis or sling take-down. SNM was performed with the Interstim® device (Medtronic, Minneapolis) using a two-stage implant technique. SNM outcomes were determined subjectively during follow-up. Validated questionnaires were completed to assess symptom bother, patient satisfaction, and quality of life. Statistical analyses were conducted using Stata® version 9.0. Six patients had a favorable response to SNM during test stimulation and underwent implantation of the implantable pulse generator (IPG). With follow-up of 15.7±11.1 months (6-34), all patients significantly improved, with three patients being dry and three patients having one to two urgency incontinence episodes per week. Patient-reported outcomes indicated that patients perceived themselves as very much improved (3) or much improved (3) after SNM, while those failing test stimulation perceived no change. Quality of life and symptom bother were significantly better in SNM responders vs nonresponders. SNM appears to be an effective and viable treatment option in this complex patient population. Further work is needed to determine clinical factors predictive of outcome and durability of response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Bladder
  • Bladderoutlet obstruction (BOO)
  • Overactive bladder (OAB)
  • Urethra
  • Urethrolysis
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Urology


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