Objective: To determine national practice patterns in the management of male urethral strictures among Italian urologists.
Methods: We conducted a survey using a nonvalidated questionnaire mailed to 700 randomly selected Italian urologists. Data were registered into a database and extensively evaluated. Analysis was performed using SAS statistical software (version 9.2). Statistical significance was defined as P ≤.05.
Results: A total of 523 (74.7%) urologists completed the questionnaire. Internal urethrotomy and dilatation were the most frequently used procedures (practiced by 81.8% and 62.5% of responders, respectively), even if most urologists (71.5%) considered internal urethrotomy appropriate only for strictures no longer than 1.5 cm; 12% of urologists declared to use stents. Overall, minimally invasive techniques were performed more frequently that any open urethroplasty (P = .012). Particularly, 60.8% of urologists did not perform urethroplasty surgery, 30.8% performed 1-5 urethroplasties yearly, and only 8.4% performed >5 urethroplasty surgeries yearly. The most common urethroplasty surgery was one-stage graft technique, particularly using oral mucosa and ventrally placed. Diagnostic workup and outcome assessment varied greatly.
Conclusion: In Italy, minimally invasive procedures are the most commonly used treatment for urethral stricture disease. Only a minimal part of urologists perform urethroplasty surgery and only few cases per year. The most preferred techniques are not traditional anastomotic procedures but graft urethroplasties using oral mucosa; the graft is preferably ventrally placed rather than dorsally. There is no uniformity in the methods used to evaluate urethral stricture before and after treatment.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.