• Vol. 32 No. 6, 821–823
  • 15 November 2003

Burch Colposuspension: Review of Perioperative Complications at a Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Singapore



Introduction: This study aims to determine perioperative complications of Burch colposuspension.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective casenote review was conducted on all cases of Burch colposuspension performed or supervised by a single, trained urogynaecologist between January 1998 and December 2001.

Results: Of the 250 women, 151 (60.4%) had Burch colposuspension in conjunction with other procedures. The other procedures included 117 hysterectomies, 15 sacrocolpopexies and hysterectomies, 11 sacrocolpopexies, 4 sacrohysteropexies, 3 posterior repairs and 1 ovarian cystectomy. Data from the 99 women who underwent only Burch colposuspension were analysed. Eight (8.1%) women had blood loss of >500 mL; of these 3 lost >1000 mL. Three (3%) women required blood transfusion. Urinary retention occurred in 13 (13.1%) women for >10 days and 4 (4%) women required catheterisation for between 21 and 29 days. Wound infection/haematoma, gross haematuria and febrile illness accounted for 2 (2%), 20 (20.2%) and 6 (6%) cases, respectively. One (1%) woman, who had 3 previous pelvic surgeries, required reoperation for repair of ureteric injury.

Conclusion: Burch colposuspension should be performed or supervised by trained instructors who must anticipate potential problems, especially in women with previous pelvic surgeries, before they get worse. There should be strict criteria of the number of Burch colposuspension observed and assisted, before performing them supervised.

Genuine stress incontinence (GSI) is the most common cause of female urinary incontinence. When conservative treatment fails, surgery is indicated. Open Burch colposuspension is an established surgical procedure1 and remains the gold standard upon which the efficacy of newer surgical options is evaluated.

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