Objectives. To survey American urologists to assess practice patterns in tr
eating female incontinence. Advances in the treatment of female incontinenc
e have changed the way urologists practice.
Methods. Postal and e-mail surveys were sent to 2502 members of the America
n Urological Association.
Results. From the postal group (n = 1000), 419 (42%) responses were obtaine
d; from the e-mail group (n = 1502), 160 (11%) responses were obtained. For
types I, II, and III stress urinary incontinence (SUI), 239 (44%) of 546,
388 (68%) of 570, and 512 (94%) of 547 urologists, respectively, recommende
d a sling procedure. For type I SUI, 75 (53%) of the 143 respondents in pra
ctice for less than 10 years recommended a sling procedure. The sling was r
ecommended by 62 (35%) of the 176 respondents in practice for longer than 2
0 years (P <0.001). Most urologists (75%, 358 of 480) referred patients wit
h significant vaginal prolapse to a gynecologist; however, urologists in fu
ll-time academic practice were more likely to offer surgical treatment (56%
, 29 of 52). Most urologists recommended medical treatment for urge inconti
nence (94%, 461 of 491), and the medications most commonly selected were to
lterodine (41%, 202 of 491), oxybutynin (26%, 129 of 491), and extended-rel
ease oxybutynin (25%, 125 of 491).
Conclusions. Overall, a sling procedure was the most commonly recommended s
urgical procedure for all types of SUI. Most urologists referred patients w
ith significant vaginal prolapse to a gynecologist. For type SUI, older uro
logists were more likely than younger urologists to perform needle bladder
neck suspension. UROLOGY 57: 45-48, 2001. (C) 2001, Elsevier Science Inc.