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Stress urinary incontinence in women: Persistent/recurrent symptoms after surgical treatment

Daniel M Morgan, MD
Section Editor
Linda Brubaker, MD, FACOG
Deputy Editor
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG


Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), the involuntary leakage of urine on effort or exertion or on sneezing or coughing, affects 4 to 35 percent of women [1-3]. In 2006, 1 in 1000 women in the United States had surgical treatment of incontinence [4]. The majority of women are adequately treated with one procedure, but up to 15 percent of women require further treatment for persistent/recurrent SUI [5].

The evaluation and management of recurrent or persistent SUI after a primary surgical treatment are reviewed here. Choosing a primary treatment procedure and preoperative evaluation of women prior to a primary procedure are discussed in detail separately. (See "Surgical management of stress urinary incontinence in women: Choosing a primary surgical procedure" and "Surgical management of stress urinary incontinence in women: Preoperative evaluation for a primary procedure".)


Persistent stress urinary incontinence (SUI) refers to SUI symptoms that persist despite performance of a surgical procedure intended to resolve these SUI symptoms.

Recurrent SUI refers to recurrence of SUI symptoms after a period without SUI symptoms following surgery.

Additional terminology for SUI treatment procedures can be found separately. (See "Surgical management of stress urinary incontinence in women: Choosing a primary surgical procedure", section on 'Terminology'.)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 20, 2017.
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