Organizations Lend their Support to Mid-urethral Slings

    By: Douglass S. Hale, M.D. on Jun 23, 2016

    Over the past six months, I have received numerous emails from members inquiring about what AUGS is doing to protect the mid-urethral sling as a treatment option for their patients. During this time, the AUGS Board has been implementing various short- and long-term strategies that will support all of our members and their patients in ensuring the appropriate treatment options for treating SUI are available.

    As you know, in 2014 AUGS and SUFU published a position statement concerning the mid-urethral sling, the most studied procedure for SUI in the medical literature.  In March of this year, AUGS reached out to numerous medical societies to solicit their support of this document.  I am happy to announce that the societies contacted undertook their own thorough review of this document and responded with overwhelming support.  Today, we can now say that in addition to AUGS and SUFU other organizations supporting our position statement include ACOG, SGS, AAGL, and AUA.  Likewise, patient advocacy groups including NAFC and WHF also added their support of the document.  This consensus was initiated by AUGS, with support from SUFU, to include every major medical society working in this space. It is our hope that the addition of these medical societies and patient advocacy groups will help physicians when they counsel their patients regarding treatment options for SUI, as well as present a powerful message within the medical community. The new statement is available on the AUGS Website

    While this statement is important to help educate our patients and the broader medical community, more will be needed to ensure a balanced discussion occurs in our community, as well as in the media. The mid-urethral sling is the most studied procedure for SUI in the medical literature, however the majority of that data is from outside the United States and there remains gaps in the literature around longer-term outcomes. The Board has approved the development of an SUI Surgery Registry to track physician reported process and outcome measures, as well as patient-reported outcomes. It is our hope that this US-based registry will be used by AUGS members as a way to track their outcomes which will contribute to the medical literature on the value of all SUI surgical options so that we can ensure women have the most effective treatment option available to them.

    To those patients that have had complications with their treatment for SUI, we acknowledge them and empathize with them.  All our procedures for SUI come with risks.  No physician ever does a procedure with the hope that there will be an untoward outcome. There is no medical treatment that is free of complications and it is up to us as physicians to obtain proper informed consent and choose the correct procedure for the particular patient after discussing the risks and benefits.  That being said, as physicians, we need to make decisions based on scientific data. AUGS is committed to advocating for patients and physicians being able to make the best decisions concerning their care.  In addition to the above measures, an application has been placed with AHRQ to obtain an authoritative, non-biased review on treatments for SUI.  A PR firm has been retained to help provide a balanced discussion on treatment options for SUI as well.   As our strategies evolve, we will continue to update the membership on our progress. 

     

    Released: June 23, 2016, 12:04 pm
    Keywords: Announcements


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