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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Tunneled tunica vaginalis flap is an effective technique for recurrent urethrocutaneous fistulas following tubularized incised plate urethroplasty

Jonathan C Routh, James J Wolpert, Yuri Reinberg
Journal of Urology 2006, 176 (4): 1578-80; discussion 1581
16952688

PURPOSE: In the last several years the use of the tubularized incised plate hypospadias repair has greatly increased. The most significant complication after this mode of urethroplasty is urethrocutaneous fistula development. Tunneled tunica vaginalis flap is a well described technique for repair of urethrocutaneous fistula. However, to our knowledge its use after tubularized incised plate repair has not yet been described. We present our results with this technique.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all patients undergoing repair of urethrocutaneous fistula after initial tubularized incised plate repair between January 2001 and December 2005. We analyzed the initial number and location of fistulas, number of previous urethrocutaneous fistula repairs, duration of surgery, and intraoperative and postoperative complications.

RESULTS: A total of 16 boys (median age 2.2 years) underwent tunica vaginalis flap repair at our institution for urethrocutaneous fistula following initial failed tubularized incised plate repair. Of these patients 4 had not previously undergone urethrocutaneous fistula repair and 12 had undergone 1 to 4 failed repair attempts. All boys had a subcoronal fistula and 8 had additional fistulas along the penile shaft, 4 each with 3 and 4 fistulas, including 1 penoscrotal fistula. Mean surgical time was 45 minutes, and no intraoperative or postoperative complications occurred. After a mean followup of 18 months (range 4 to 36) no patient had recurrence of urethrocutaneous fistula.

CONCLUSIONS: Tunneled tunica vaginalis flap repair is a highly successful technique for the treatment of urethrocutaneous fistula after initial failed tubularized incised plate repair. The technique is technically simple to perform, and we encountered no complications. Tunneled tunica vaginalis flap repair should be considered for treating urethrocutaneous fistula following initial failed tubularized incised plate hypospadias surgery, particularly in a repeat surgical setting.

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