Bulbar urethroplasty using buccal mucosa grafts placed on the ventral, dorsal or lateral surface of the urethra: are results affected by the surgical technique?

J Urol 2005; 174: :955-958.

Purpose: The use of buccal mucosa graft onlay urethroplasty represents the most widespread method of bulbar urethral stricture repair. The graft may be placed on the ventral or dorsal urethral surface according to surgeon experience and preference. We investigated whether the results are affected by the surgical technique by comparing the outcome of 3 types of bulbar urethroplasty using buccal mucosa graft.

Materials and Methods: We repaired 50 bulbar urethral strictures with buccal mucosa grafts from 1997 to 2002. Mean patient age was 42 years. The etiology of stricture was ischemia in 12 cases, trauma in 6, instrumentation in 4 and unknown in 28. Patients with lichen sclerosus, failed hypospadias or urethroplasty and stricture extending into the penile urethra were not included. A total of 47 patients (94%) had undergone previous urethrotomy or dilation. The buccal mucosa graft was always harvested from the cheek using a 2 team approach. Mean graft length was 4.2 cm. The graft was placed on the ventral, dorsal and lateral bulbar urethral surface in 17, 27 and 6 cases, respectively. Clinical outcome was considered a success or failure at the time that any postoperative procedure was needed, including dilation. Mean followup was 42 months (range 12 to 76).

Results: Of 50 cases 42 (84%) were successful and 8 (16%) failed. The 17 ventral grafts provided success in 14 cases (83%) and failure in 3 (17%). The 27 dorsal grafts provided success in 23 cases (85%) and failure in 4 (15%). The 6 lateral grafts provided success in 5 cases (83%) and failure in 1 (17%). No surgical complications were observed. Failures involved the anastomotic site (distal in 2 and proximal in 3) and the whole grafted area in 3 cases. They were treated with urethrotomy in 5 cases and 2-stage urethroplasty in 3.

Conclusions: In our experience the placement of buccal mucosa grafts into the ventral, dorsal or lateral surface of the bulbar urethra showed the same success rates (83% to 85%) and the outcome was not affected by the surgical technique. Moreover, stricture recurrence was uniformly distributed in all patients.