JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Urethroplasty, by perineal approach, for bulbar and membranous urethral strictures in children and adolescents.

Urology 2008 March
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of urethroplasty for bulbar and membranous urethral strictures using the perineal approach in children and adolescents. Urethroplasty by the perineal approach is considered the best treatment for bulbar and membranous urethral strictures in adults. It is not as clear whether this also holds true in children, because the published data addressing this question are scant.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed our urethroplasty database to identify patients who had undergone urethroplasty using the perineal approach surgery at age 1 to 13 years (children) and 14 to 18 years (adolescents).

RESULTS: A total of 14 patients who had undergone urethroplasty by the perineal approach were identified, including 5 children (mean age 10.8 years) and 9 adolescents (mean age 16.7 years). Of the 14 patients, 7 had membranous and 7 bulbar urethral strictures. The membranous strictures were all secondary to pelvic fractures. The bulbar strictures were "idiopathic" in 57%, traumatic in 29%, and secondary to hypospadias in 14%. All bulbar strictures had been previously treated for 2.5 years, on average, by repeated dilation or urethrotomy that failed. Anastomotic urethroplasty was used in 79% of the patients and tissue transfer techniques in the remainder. The mean follow-up was 30 months (range 12 to 54). Surgery was primarily successful in 93% of the patients, and subsequently successful in 100%. The mean maximal urinary flow increased from 2.65 mL/s preoperatively to 27.65 mL/s postoperatively. No significant complications occurred, and success was similar in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: In pediatric patients, as in adults, bulbar and membranous strictures can be treated successfully with urethroplasty using the perineal approach. These patients should probably not be treated "conservatively" with urethral dilation or endoscopic incision. Longer follow-up is needed to confirm that these good results are maintained as these patients cross into adulthood, especially for those who underwent repair before puberty.

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