Treatment for long bulbar urethral strictures with membranous involvement using urethroplasty with oral mucosa graft

H Gimbernat, I Arance, C Redondo, E Meilán, G Andrés, J C Angulo
Actas Urologicas Españolas 2014, 38 (8): 544-51

INTRODUCTION: Urethroplasty with oral mucosa grafting is the most popular technique for treating nontraumatic bulbar urethral strictures; however, cases involving the membranous portion are usually treated using progressive perineal anastomotic urethroplasty. We assessed the feasibility of performing dorsal (or ventral) graft urethroplasty on bulbar urethral strictures with mainly membranous involvement using a modified Barbagli technique.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This was a prospective study of 14 patients with bulbomembranous urethral strictures who underwent dilation urethroplasty with oral mucosa graft between 2005 and 2013, performed using a modified technique Barbagli, with proximal anchoring of the graft and securing of the graft to the tunica cavernosa in 12 cases (85.7%) and ventrally in 2 (14.3%). The minimum follow-up time was 1 year. We evaluated the subjective (patient satisfaction) and objective (maximum flow [Qmax] and postvoid residual volume [PVRV], preoperative and postoperative) results and complications. Failure was defined as the need for any postoperative instrumentation.

RESULTS: A total of 14 patients (median age, 64+13 years) underwent surgery. The main antecedent of note was transurethral resection of the prostate in 9 cases (64.3%). The median length of the stenosis was 45+26.5mm. Prior to surgery, 50% of the patients had been subjected to dilatations and 4% to endoscopic urethrotomy. The mean surgical time and hospital stay were was 177+76min and 1.5+1 day, respectively. The preoperative Qmax and PVRV values were 4.5+4.45mL/sec and 212.5+130 cc, respectively. The postoperative values were 15.15+7.2mL/sec and 6+21.5cc, respectively (P<.01 for both comparisons). Surgery was successful in 13 cases (92.9%). None of the patients had major complications. There were minor complications in 1 (7.1%) patient, but reintervention was no required.

CONCLUSION: The repair of long bulbar urethral strictures with membranous involvement using urethroplasty with free oral mucosa grafts represents a viable alternative for patients with nontraumatic etiology and little fibrosis. The dilation of the urethral lumen achieves good results with minimum failure rates and little probability of complications. For many of these patients, the length of the stricture is too long to perform the tension-free anastomosis technique.

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