Long-term outcome of urethroplasty after failed urethrotomy versus primary repair

J Urol 2001; 165: 1918-1919.

Purpose: A urethral stricture recurring after repeat urethrotomy challenges even a skilled urologist. To address the question of whether to repeat urethrotomy or perform open reconstructive surgery, we retrospectively review a series of 93 patients comparing those who underwent primary repair versus those who had undergone urethrotomy and underwent secondary treatment.

Materials and Methods: From 1975 to 1998, 93 males between age 13 and 78 years (mean 39) underwent surgical treatment for bulbar urethral stricture. In 46 (49%) of the patients urethroplasty was performed as primary repair, and in 47 (51%) after previously failed urethrotomy. The strictures were localized in the bulbous urethra without involvement of penile or membranous tracts. The etiology was ischemic in 37 patients, traumatic in 23, unknown in 17 and inflammatory in 16. To simplify evaluation of the results, the clinical outcome was considered either a success or a failure at the time any postoperative procedure was needed, including dilation.

Results: In our 93 patients primary urethroplasty had a final success rate of 85%, and after failed urethrotomy 87%. Previously failed urethrotomy did not influence the long-term outcome of urethroplasty. The long-term results of different urethroplasty techniques had a final success rate ranging from 77% to 96%.

Conclusions: We conclude that failed urethrotomy does not condition the long-term result of surgical repair. With extended followup, the success rate of urethroplasty decreases with time but it is in fact still higher than that of urethrotomy.