Dorsal onlay graft urethroplasty for repair of bulbar urethral stricture

C E Iselin, G D Webster
Journal of Urology 1999, 161 (3): 815-8

PURPOSE: We report the early outcome of dorsal full-thickness penile skin grafts in the repair of bulbar urethral stricture.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: During 27 months 29 men with a mean age of 43 years (range 10 to 81) underwent dorsal onlay graft urethroplasty. Followup included retrograde urethrogram at 3 weeks, 3 months and 12 to 18 months, and thereafter when needed. Urinary flow was recorded as subjectively reported by the patients.

RESULTS: The technique was used only for bulbar urethral strictures. A total of 23 patients (79%) had undergone previous direct vision urethrotomy and/or open surgery. Dorsal onlay graft urethroplasty was used alone in 12 patients (41%), and was performed with partial stricture excision and ventral strip anastomosis in 13 (45%). In another 4 patients (14%) the procedure was combined with an Orandi flap because the stricture extended significantly into the penile urethra. Penile skin grafts were used in 27 patients (93%), whereas buccal mucosa was harvested in 2. Mean graft length was 6 cm. (range 3 to 9), and width ranged between 1.5 and 3 cm. Outcome was favorable in 28 patients (97%) for a median followup of 19 months (range 10 to 37). One patient had symptomatic proximal stricture recurrence and 3 had radiographic evidence of caliber decrease of the repair but with no impact on urinary flow.

CONCLUSIONS: Dorsal onlay graft urethroplasty is a versatile procedure which may be combined with stricture excision and ventral strip anastomosis or an Orandi flap. Conceptually the technique offers the advantages of spread fixation of the graft on a fixed well vascularized surface, which may improve graft neovascularization, reduce graft shrinkage and avoid sacculation. Although the early outcome is promising, dorsal onlay graft urethroplasty has yet to stand the test of time.

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