Purpose: We retrospectively reviewed patterns of failure after bulbar substitution urethroplasty. In particular we investigated the prevalence and location of anastomotic fibrous ring strictures occurring at the apical anastomoses between the graft and urethral plate after 3 types of onlay graft techniques.
Materials and methods: We reviewed the records of 107 patients who underwent bulbar urethroplasty between 1994 and 2004. Mean patient age was 44 years. Patients with lichen sclerosus, failed hypospadias repair or urethroplasty and panurethral strictures were excluded. A total of 45 patients underwent dorsal onlay skin graft urethroplasty, 50 underwent buccal mucosa onlay graft urethroplasty and 12 underwent augmented end-to-end urethroplasty. The clinical outcome was considered a success or failure at the time that any postoperative procedure was needed, including dilation. Mean followup was 74 months (range 12 to 130).
Results: Of 107 cases 85 (80%) were successful and 22 (20%) failed. Failure in 12 patients (11%) involved the whole grafted area and in 10 (9%) it involved the anastomotic site, which was distal and proximal in 5 each. Urethrography, urethral ultrasound and urethroscopy were fundamental for determining the difference between full-length and focal extension of re-stricture. Failures were treated with multistage urethroplasty in 12 cases, urethrotomy in 7 and 1-stage urethroplasty in 3. Of the patients 16 had a satisfactory final outcome and 6 underwent definitive perineal urinary diversion.
Conclusions: The prevalence and location of anastomotic ring strictures after bulbar urethroplasty were uniformly distributed in after 3 surgical techniques using skin or buccal mucosa. Further studies are necessary to clarify the etiology of these fibrous ring strictures.