Anatomical path of the tension-free vaginal tape: Reassessing current teachings

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5 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of the study was to revisit the anatomical path of the tension-free vaginal tape and better describe its relationship to the perineal membrane and other important anatomic landmarks. Study design: Dissections of the anterior perineal triangle, periurethral, and retropubic spaces were performed in 24 unembalmed female cadavers following placement of the tension-free vaginal tape to identify the sling's relationship to the perineal membrane, periurethral muscles, and the arcus tendineus fascia pelvis. Results: In 100% of specimens, the device passed cephalad to the perineal membrane. The urethrovaginal sphincter muscle was perforated in 2 of the specimens. The sling passed lateral to the arcus tendineus and perforated the pubococcygeus muscle in 6 (25%) of the cadavers. In the remaining 18 (75%) specimens, the mesh was medial to the arcus tendineus and penetrated the periurethral connective tissue. Conclusion: The assertion that the tension-free vaginal tape perforates the perineal membrane is incorrect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1809-1813
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Anatomy
  • Perineal membrane
  • Tension-free vaginal tape
  • Urogenital diaphragm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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