Morbidity of Oral Mucosa Graft Harvesting from a Single Cheek

Eur Urol 2010; 58: 33-41.

Background: The oral mucosa (OM) is a popular substitute for urethroplasty.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate oral morbidity and patient satisfaction in a homogeneous group of patients who underwent OM harvesting.

Desing, Setting, and Partecipants: This study is a prospective analysis of 350 patients who underwent OM harvesting from a single cheek.

Intervention: The graft was harvested in an ovoid shape with closure of the wound. Standard graft size was 4cm in length and 2.5cm in width.

Measurements: Self-administered, nonvalidated semiquantitative (0, absence of complications or symptoms; 3, the worst complication or symptom) questionnaire consisting of six questions was used to investigate early complications, with 13 questions designed to investigate late complications and patient satisfaction.

Results and Limitations: Early complications included bleeding, which occurred in 15 patients (4.3%); two patients required immediate surgical revision of the harvesting site. The majority of patients (85.2%) showed no pain, and only 3.7% of patients required use of anti-inflammatory drugs. The majority of patients (65.8%) showed slight or moderate swelling. With respect to late complications, most of the patients (73.4%) reported oral numbness for 1 wk, 22.9% for 1 mo, and 3.77% for 3 mo. Numbness resulting from scarring was absent or slight in most of patients. Changes in oral sensitivity occurred in 2.3% of patients. No difficulties opening the mouth or smiling was found in 98.3% and 99.7% of patients, respectively. Slight or moderate dry mouth was found in 97.1% of patients. In response to the question, “Would you undergo oral mucosa graft harvesting using this technique again,” 343 patients (98%) replied “yes,” and 7 patients (2%) replied “no.”

Conclusions: The harvesting of an OM ovoid graft from a cheek with closure of the wound is a safe procedure with a high patient satisfaction rate.