Predicting urinary incontinence after surgery for pelvic organ prolapse

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© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Purpose of review Many women choosing to have surgery for pelvic organ prolapse also choose to undergo continence surgery. This review focuses on available evidence that clinicians may use to counsel patients when choosing whether to perform continence surgery and how predictive analytic tools improve this decision-making process. Recent findings Midurethral sling, Burch cystourethropexy and bladder neck sling are highly effective for the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence. Trials demonstrate that continence surgery may be routinely performed to reduce the risk of postoperative incontinence in women undergoing surgery for pelvic organ prolapse with or without preoperative stress urinary incontinence. Although these procedures are effective and well tolerated on average, media concerns, regulatory warnings and litigation reinforce the need for a balanced discussion regarding efficacy and potential adverse events directed at the individual patient during the preoperative visit. Advances in predictive analytics allow surgeons to quantitate individual risk using algorithms that tailor estimates for the individual patient and facilitate shared understanding of risks and benefits. These models are less prone to cognitive biases and frequently outperform experienced clinicians. Summary This review discusses how predictive analytic tools can be used to improve decisions about continence surgery in the woman planning to undergo prolapse surgery.






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Jelovsek, John E (2016). Predicting urinary incontinence after surgery for pelvic organ prolapse. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 28(5). pp. 399–406. 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000308 Retrieved from

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John E Jelovsek

F. Bayard Carter Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Jelovsek is the F. Bayard Carter Distinguished Professor of OBGYN at Duke University and serves as Director of Data Science for Women’s Health. He is Board Certified in OBGYN by the American Board of OBGYN and in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery by the American Board of OBGYN and American Board of Urology. He has an active surgical practice in urogynecology based out of Duke Raleigh. He has expertise as a clinician-scientist in developing and evaluating clinical prediction models using traditional biostatistics and machine learning approaches. These “individualized” patient-centered prediction tools aim to improve decision-making regarding the prevention of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and other pelvic floor disorders after childbirth (PMID:29056536), de novo stress urinary incontinence and other patient-perceived outcomes after pelvic organ prolapse surgery, risk of transfusion during gynecologic surgery, and urinary outcomes after mid-urethral sling surgery (PMID: 26942362). He also has significant expertise in leading trans-disciplinary teams through NIH-funded multi-center research networks and international settings. As alternate-PI for the Cleveland Clinic site in the NICHD Pelvic Floor Disorders Network, he was principal investigator on the CAPABLe trial (PMID: 31320277), one of the largest multi-center trials for fecal incontinence studying anal exercises with biofeedback and loperamide for the treatment of fecal incontinence. He was the principal investigator of the E-OPTIMAL study (PMID: 29677302), describing the long-term follow up sacrospinous ligament fixation compared to uterosacral ligament suspension for apical vaginal prolapse. He was also primary author on research establishing the minimum important clinical difference for commonly used measures of fecal incontinence. Currently, he serves as co-PI in the NIDDK Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Research Network (LURN) (U01DK097780-05) where he has been involved in studies in the development of Symptoms of Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction Research Network Symptom Index-29 (LURN SI-29) and LURN SI-10 questionnaires for men and women with LUTS. He is also the site-PI for the PREMIER trial (1R01HD105892): Patient-Centered Outcomes of Sacrocolpopexy versus Uterosacral Ligament Suspension for the Treatment of Uterovaginal Prolapse.

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