Outcomes after urethroplasty for radiotherapy induced bulbomembranous urethral stricture disease

Matthias D Hofer, Lee C Zhao, Allen F Morey, J Francis Scott, Andrew J Chang, Steven B Brandes, Chris M Gonzalez
Journal of Urology 2014, 191 (5): 1307-12

PURPOSE: We recently demonstrated that radiotherapy induced urethral strictures can be successfully managed with urethroplasty. We increased size and followup in our multi-institutional cohort, and evaluated excision and primary anastomosis as treatment for radiotherapy induced urethral strictures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review was performed of 72 patients from 3 academic institutions treated for radiotherapy induced bulbomembranous strictures. Outcome parameters of successful repair included recurrence, incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

RESULTS: Among the 72 men treated for radiotherapy induced strictures 66 (91.7%) underwent excision and primary anastomosis. Mean followup was 3.5 years (median 3.1, range 0.8 to 11.2). Prostate cancer was the most common reason for radiotherapy (in 64 of 66, 96.9%). External beam radiotherapy and brachytherapy were performed in 28 of 66 men (42.4%) each, and a combination of both was performed in 9 (13.6%). Mean time from radiation to excision and primary anastomosis was 6.4 years (range 1 to 20) and mean stricture length was 2.3 cm (range 1 to 6). Successful reconstruction was achieved in 46 men (69.7%). Mean time to recurrence was 10.2 months (range 1 to 64) with new onset of incontinence observed in 12 men (18.5%). This was associated with stricture length greater than 2 cm (p = 0.013) and treatment center (p <0.001). The rate of erectile dysfunction remained stable (preoperative 45.6%, postoperative 50.9%, p = 0.71). Radiotherapy type did not affect stricture length (p = 0.41), recurrence risk (p = 0.91), postoperative incontinence (p = 0.88) or erectile dysfunction (p = 0.53).

CONCLUSIONS: Radiotherapy induced bulbomembranous urethral strictures can be successfully managed with excision and primary anastomosis. Substitution urethroplasty with graft or flap is needed infrequently. Patients should be counseled on the potential risks of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

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