Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2012, 2, 289-290 OJOG Published Online September 2012 (
An early complication of transobturator tape:
Non-infective adductor internus myositis*
Marc A. Lucky#, Paul Irwin, Saleem Bicha
Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Crewe, UK
Received 10 April 2012; revised 23 May 2012; accepted 5 June 2012
The transobturator tape (TOT) procedure is gener-
ally felt to be a safer surgical alternative to the ten-
sion-free vaginal tape procedure for women with stress
urinary incontinence. We report a case of adductor
internus myositis not associated with infection fol-
lowing the TOT procedure. To our knowledge this is
the first case of this type reported in the literature. A
43 year old lady underwent a straightforward elec-
tive TOT procedure. There were no intraoperative
complications. Immediately following the procedure
she complained of pain in her right thigh. MRI con-
firmed abnormal oedema within the antero-inferior
aspect of the right obturator internus muscle consis-
tent with myositis secondary to tape insertion. The
tape was removed the following day in theatre, fol-
lowing which her pain resolved. This case highlights a
previously unreported complication as a result of the
TOT procedure.
Keywords: Transobturator Tape; Adductor Internus
Myositis; Complication
The tension-free vaginal tape procedure has been used
widely in the past for female stress incontinence. This
procedure is associated with complications such as blad-
der perforation, excessive bleeding, tape erosion, nerve
damage and haematoma formation [1]. An alternative is
the transobturator tape (TOT) procedure. It is thought to
be associated with a lower risk of complications and
lower post-operative morbidity [2]. In this minimally
invasive procedure specially designed introducers allow
the accurate placement of a synthetic tape behind the
urethra and through the obturator foramina towards the
thigh folds in line with the clitoris. The tape is positio ned
without tension , forming a sling under th e junction of the
mid and distal urethra. The trajectory of the tape is such
that it is coursed away from the obturator, femoral and
saphenous nerve s a nd vessels .
However, the TOT procedure is not without risks. As
with all synthetic materials the risk of infection, erosion
and myositis exists. The published available literature
regarding these complications is scarce. De Souza et al.
discussed a case of addu ctor brevis myositis in a 43 year
old woman with cellulitis and v aginal discharge who had
a visibly eroded mesh [3]. Leanza et al. also published a
report of a late complication of abscess and myositis af-
ter insertion of a TOT [4]. These are the only cases re-
ported in the literature of myositis of adductor muscles
associated with infection as a possible complication fol-
lowing the TOT procedure. We therefore review and de-
scribe a unique case of a symptomatic patient suggestive
of adductor internus myositis following a TOT proce-
dure, in which there was no evidence of infectio n. To our
knowledge, this is the first case reporting adductor
myositis following a TOT procedure without infection in
the literature.
A 43 year old lady was admitted for an elective TOT
procedure. She had a 5 year history of urinary inconti-
nence which had not responded to anticholinergic medi-
cation and pelvic floor physiotherapy. The procedure was
performed without any complication; immediate post-
placement cystoscopy confirmed that there was no per-
foration of the bladder. In the recovery room she com-
plained of severe sharp shooting pains in her right thigh
upon movemen t and felt as though she had a “dead ” leg.
There was no vascular compromise, paraesthesia, swell-
ing, muscular tenderness or calf pain. She was observed
overnight and com m e nced o n tramadol.
*Conflicts of interes t: No conflicts of int erest.
Disclosures: None.
Funding: None.
#Corresponding author.
Her pain persisted overnight, now being located mainly
in the antero-medial and mid thigh level. She also had
pain on movement and weight bearing. There was no
M. Lucky et al. / Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2 (2012) 289-290
vascular compromise or paresthesia. Her white cell count
and inflammatory markers remained normal, and there
was no evidence of localised cellulitis. She remained
A MRI scan showed abnormal oedema within the an-
tero-inferior aspect of the right obturator internus muscle.
No haematoma or abscess was seen. A decision was
made to return to theatre to remove part of the tape. The
lateral end of the tape on the right side was subsequently
removed through the original incision, without complica-
tion under general anaesthetic. There was no evidence of
infection at the time of or following the procedure. The
remainder of the tape was left in place. Upon recovery,
the patient immediately reported a dramatic cessation of
pain. The following day she was mobilizing well and she
was discharged 4 days after the original TOT procedure.
Her stress urinary incontinence returned a few days later.
She has subsequently had a successful colposuspension.
The TOT procedure is a safe and effective treatment op-
tion for women suffering with stress incontinence, asso-
ciated with a very low risk of complications [5]. The
procedure can be done under general or local anaesthetic.
The patient is placed in exaggerated lithotomy position
with thighs in hyperflexion and slight abduction. A
Foley’s catheter is placed in the urethra. Two small inci-
sions are made in the inferior part of the obturator for a-
men at the level of the clitoris. A 2 - 3 cm incision is
made in the midline of the vagina just under the mid-
urethra, allowing the mesh tape to be placed under the
urethra in the correct position. Blunt dissection is made
in the direction of the ischiopubic rami. A curved tun-
neler is then used to place the mesh. The distal segment
of the tunneler is manipulated to pass through the obtu-
rator membrane. The mesh is then passed through the
adductor brevis, obturator externus then obturator inter-
nus, using a pronating motion. The tunnelers carrying the
mesh are brought out through the skin incision in the
groin area. The mesh is then placed under the urethra
ensuring it is tension free. Excess tape is trimmed and
incisions are sutured.
We believe that this case report is the first to highlight
a possible complication of non-infective myositis result-
ing from the TOT procedure. In this case there was no
reason to suspect surgical error. The operation was car-
ried out by an experienced urologist who had done many
of these procedures before and there were no unexpected
problems. The symptoms experienced by the patient
could possibly be explained by the course of the tape
through the various anatomical structures resulting in
inflammation or irritation of muscle tissue. This case is
useful from an educational point of view in highlighting
a potential complication of this otherwise safe procedure.
This case also demonstrates that in patients with unila-
teral symptoms, not associated with infection, it may
only be necessary to remove part of the tap e thereby still
leaving a chance that the patient’s stress incontinence
may be improved in spite of further intervention.
It is important that should a patient suffer with any
neurological type symptoms following a TOT procedure
that imaging in the form of CT or MRI should be done
urgently to assess further, with a low threshold for re-
moving the entire or part of the tape.
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S.D. (2003) Complications and untoward effects of the
tension-free vaginal tape procedure. Obstetrics and Gy-
naecology, 101, 929-932.
[2] Barber, M.D., Gustilo-Ashby, A.M., Chen, C.C., Kaplan,
P., Paraiso, M.F. and Walters, M.D. (2006) Perioperative
complications and adverse events of the MONARC tran-
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1820-1825. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2006.07.007
[3] De Souza, R., Shapiro, A. and Westney, O.L. (2007) Ad-
ductor brevis myositis following transobturator tape pro-
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national Urogynecology Journal and Pelvic Floor Dys-
function, 18, 817-820. doi:10.1007/s00192-006-0220-9
[4] Leanza, V., Garozzo, V., Accardi, M., Molino, A., Conco,
M. and Basile, A. (2008) A late complication of transob-
turator tape: Abscess and myositis. Minerva Ginecologica,
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[5] Costa, P. and Grise, P. (2004) Surgical treatment of fe-
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