Purpose: We update our interim results of bulbar urethroplasty using a skin graft placed on the dorsal urethral surface.
Materials and methods: A total of 45 patients with an average age of 45 years underwent dorsal onlay skin graft urethroplasty between January 1994 and December 2000. Of the patients 23 had undergone an average of 2.6 prior endoscopic procedures (range 1 to 14). Preoperative evaluation include clinical history, physical examination, retrograde and voiding urethrography, and ultrasonography. In all patients the bulbar urethra was opened along its dorsal surface, the graft was sutured, splayed and quilted to the corpora cavernosa, and the urethra was rotated to cover the graft. In all patients was used penile skin as substitution material. Mean graft length was 4.7 cm (range 2.5 to 11). Three weeks after surgery voiding cystourethrography was performed.
Results: Average followup was 71 months (range 41 to 110). Clinical outcome was considered a failure when postoperative instrumentation was needed, including dilation. Of 45 cases 33 (73%) were classified as successful and 12 (27%) were failures. The 12 failures were treated with internal urethrotomy (1), end-to-end-anastomosis (1), skin graft urethroplasty (2) and 2-stage urethroplasty (6). Six of the 12 initial failures had a satisfactory final outcome. The remaining 6 patients refused further surgical procedures and received a definitive perineal urethrostomy.
Conclusions: Penile skin grafts used as a dorsal onlay for bulbar urethral reconstruction in a homogeneous series of patients showed a tendency to deteriorate with time. Longer followup is required to compare penile skin with buccal mucosa as substitute materials for bulbar urethral reconstruction.