Oral complications after buccal mucosal graft harvest for urethroplasty

Norman Dublin, Laurence H Stewart
BJU International 2004, 94 (6): 867-9

OBJECTIVE: To report long-term oral complications after buccal mucosal graft (BMG) harvesting for urethroplasty.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a retrospective study of all patients who had BMG harvesting for urethroplasty from April 1996 to September 2002, telephone interviews were conducted using a standard proforma.

RESULTS: Thirty-five patients were identified but only 30 (mean age 48.3 years, range 24-86) could be contacted; they had had 31 operations. Soon after surgery (the first 48 h), 22 (73%) of the patients had little or no oral pain; 70% and 90% of the patients were able to eat and drink, respectively; 59% complained of numbness and 75% complained of tightness of the mouth. At discharge 6 days after surgery 90% of patients had little or no oral pain and all were able to eat and drink, but 10% had moderate-to-severe oral pain, 39% had oral numbness, and 52% had tightness of the mouth. At the time of interview, 16% of patients had oral numbness (mean duration 13.6 months) and 32% had tightness of the mouth (mean duration 20.9 months). In answer to the question of whether they would have their cheek mucosa harvested again if required, 74% responded 'yes', 3% 'no', and 23% had mixed feelings.

CONCLUSIONS: BMG harvesting is a good operation, as most patients were satisfied, but it is not without long-term complications and patients should be adequately informed.

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