Objective: To retrospectively report the long-term results of the use of a small intestinal submucosa (SIS) graft in bulbar urethral repair.
Methods: From 2003 to 2007, 25 men (mean age 40.5 years) with bulbar strictures underwent patch graft urethroplasty using SIS placed on the dorsal or ventral or dorsal plus ventral surface of the urethra. The mean follow-up period was 71 months (range 52-100). The clinical outcome was considered a failure when any postoperative instrumentation, including dilation, was needed.
Results: Of the 25 cases, 19 (76%) were successful and 6 (24%) were failures. No postoperative complications were related to the use of heterologous graft material, such as infection or rejection. The failure rate was 14% for strictures <4 cm and 100% for strictures >4 cm.
Conclusion: At long-term follow-up, in bulbar stricture repair, SIS grafts showed similar results to penile skin grafts but were less effective than buccal mucosa grafts. The use of SIS as graft material should not be the first choice but represents an alternative option for patients with bulbar strictures that are not long and who refuse the harvesting or are not ideal candidates for buccal mucosa or penile skin grafts. Larger series of patients with longer follow-up are needed before widespread use can be advocated.
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