Objective To report the long-term outcomes of urethroplasty using abdominal wall skin (AWS) grafts. Men with long-segment strictures, prior urethroplasty, and lichen sclerosus (LS) pose challenges in surgical management, including the choice of graft tissue for urethral reconstruction. AWS grafts are an alternative when buccal mucosa or penile grafts are not feasible or chosen by the patient.
Methods We retrospectively reviewed 238 patients who underwent urethroplasty (2000-2010) with at least 1 year of follow-up. Demographics, etiology, comorbidities, prior procedures, and surgical technique were analyzed for correlation with recurrence.
Results Mean age was 42.9 years (range, 15-79 years), mean stricture length 5.6 cm (1-24 cm), and median follow-up of 59.3 months (12.5-147 months). A total of 58.4% patients had prior intervention, of which 15 patients (6.3%) had urethroplasty and 41 patients (17.2%) had hypospadias repair. Twenty-six patients (10.9%) underwent urethroplasty with AWS graft, whereas 107 (45.0%) and 12 (5.0%) patients were augmented with buccal mucosa or genital skin. Sixty-six patients (27.7%) had stricture recurrence at a mean of 34.5 months (range, 1.87-87.1 months). On univariate analysis, patients with AWS graft had longer strictures (P =.0001), were more likely to have LS (P =.0002), prior urethroplasty (P =.007), and recurrence (P =.002). On multivariate analysis, prior urethroplasty (odds ratio [OR], 5.3; P =.009), diabetes (OR, 2.6; P =.04), and LS (OR, 2.8; P =.05) were significantly associated with recurrence, whereas AWS graft was not (OR, 2.0; P =.28).
Conclusion AWS grafts are an alternative tissue source for urethral stricture, but may be associated with greater risk of recurrence. This may be secondary to patient selection, with this population often having other risk factors for recurrence.
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