Revisiting the penoscrotal approach to artificial urinary sphincter surgery: how does it compare to a perineal incision for initial implantation?

World J Urol. 2021 Mar;39(3):871-876. doi: 10.1007/s00345-020-03244-6. Epub 2020 May 21.


Purpose: Artificial urinary sphincters (AUS) remain the gold standard to treat male stress urinary incontinence. AUS implantation can be performed through a penoscrotal or perineal incision depending on surgeon preference.

Methods: The present study compares initial AUS implantation through two surgical approaches focusing on outcomes of continence and revision. All AUS implanted at an academic medical center between 2000 and 2018 were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: A total of 225 AUS implantations were identified, of which, 114 patients who underwent virgin AUS placement were included in the study with a mean follow-up of 28.5 months. A total of 68 patients (59.6%) had AUS placement through penoscrotal incision; while, 46 (40.4%) had a perineal incision. While operative time was significantly shorter for penoscrotal placement (98.6 min vs. 136.3 min, p = 0.001), there were no significant differences in continence rates between either surgical approach with 76.5% socially continent defined as using zero to less than 1 pad per day (safety pad). The overall rate of device erosion or infection was not significantly different between groups. However, the rate of revision or replacement was significantly higher in the perineal group (26.1% v. 8.8%; p = 0.01). On multivariate analysis, the penoscrotal incision predicted a lower rate of device revision (p = 0.01).

Conclusions: The penoscrotal approach of AUS placement is associated with shorter operative time. While we observed a lower revision rate compared to the perineal approach, there were equivalent continence outcomes.

Keywords: Artificial urinary sphincter; Prostate cancer; Stress urinary incontinence; Surgical outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penis / surgery
  • Perineum / surgery
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scrotum / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / surgery*
  • Urinary Sphincter, Artificial*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male / methods