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Patient satisfaction with the outcome of surgery for urethral stricture.

PURPOSE: We assessed patient satisfaction with the outcome of surgery for urethral strictures and compared it with objective clinical data.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 267 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for urethral stricture between March 1993 and December 1999 were questioned regarding satisfaction. Mailed questionnaires or a telephone interview, if questionnaires were not returned, provided information on the urinary tract, voiding, sexual function, overall satisfaction and miscellaneous impairments after surgery for urethral strictures. The response rate was 87% (233 of 267 patients). Subjective data were compared with objective clinical findings.

RESULTS: Of the 203 patients who underwent successful urethroplasty 159 (78%) and 24 of the 30 (80%) in whom urethroplasty was considered a failure from the physician viewpoint were satisfied or very satisfied with the outcome of urethral surgery. Patients who underwent re-intervention for complications other than re-stricture and those who complained of a weak or very weak urinary stream were considerably less satisfied. Factors influencing sexual function also had an important impact on patient satisfaction. Patients with marked or severe penile curvature, penile shortening, erection deterioration and a markedly or severely impaired sexual life were especially dissatisfied.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients consider the outcome of surgery for urethral strictures differently than physicians. The outcome of urethroplasty should be assessed not only by objective, but also by subjective criteria. Patients need appropriate preoperative counseling. With realistic expectations most men are satisfied with surgery for urethral stricture.

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