The effect of bulbar urethroplasty on erectile function

J Urol. 2007 Sep;178(3 Pt 1):1009-11; discussion 1011. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2007.05.053. Epub 2007 Jul 16.


Purpose: Theoretically bulbar urethroplasty has the potential to adversely affect potency, involving as it does dissection in proximity to the corporeal bodies and erectile neurovascular structures. We prospectively examined the effect of various bulbar urethroplasties on erectile function.

Materials and methods: Prior to undergoing urethroplasty, patients completed an International Index of Erectile Function questionnaire. Each patient repeated the International Index of Erectile Function at least 3 months postoperatively. One-sided t and Fisher's exact tests were used to compare preoperative and postoperative erectile function.

Results: A total of 25 men with an average age of 39 years (range 26 to 66) completed the study. Etiology of stricture was idiopathic in 20 patients and traumatic in 5. Stricture location was panbulbar in 5 patients, mid to posterior bulbar in 13 and mid to distal bulbar in 7. Eight men underwent anastomotic urethroplasty, 15 underwent augmented anastomotic repair using a buccal mucosal graft and 2 underwent a dorsal onlay. At a mean of 6.2 months of followup, average total International Index of Erectile Function went from 62.6 to 59.6 of 75 possible points and the average erectile function domain score went from 26.9 to 24.8 of 30 possible points. Neither of these differences attained significance (p = 0.29 and 0.13, respectively). A total of 25 men had an erectile function domain postoperative score of greater than 20 and 8 had a score of 20 or less. Men with a score of 20 or less were older (47 vs 36.8 years, p = 0.17) and had worse preoperative erectile function (20 vs 29, p = 0.11) than those with erectile function scores greater than 20, although these differences did not achieve significance.

Conclusions: We report on men undergoing 4 variations of bulbar urethroplasty. Although the numbers are small, we found that such surgery had an insignificant effect on erectile function. Surgical complexity with long stricture excision and the use of a buccal graft did not influence outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Erection*
  • Urethra / surgery*
  • Urethral Stricture / physiopathology
  • Urethral Stricture / surgery*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male / adverse effects
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male / methods