Dramatic increase (1997-2007) in the number of procedures for stress urinary incontinence in Belgium.
ABSTRACT We wondered if the tension-free vaginal tape approach, introduced in 1998, influenced the rate of anti-incontinence surgery.
We determined the rates of anti-incontinence surgery in Belgium between 1997 and 2007, using the Belgian National Health Insurance Fund register covering the entire adult female population of nearly 4,420,000 women in Belgium.
The rate per 1,000 women of anti-incontinence surgery increased from 0.54 in 1997 to 2.03 in 2004, after which a plateau was reached (2.01 in 2007). This nearly fourfold increase coincided with the introduction in 1998 on the Belgian market of the tension-free vaginal tape (+66% more interventions between 1998 and 2001). After the introduction of the transobturator tape in 2001, the rate increased even more dramatically (+118% between 2001 and 2004).
Rates of anti-incontinence surgery increased by 272% in Belgium between 1997 and 2007. This increase coincided with the availability of tension-free mesh sling operations.