Purpose: Radiotherapy induced urethral strictures are often difficult to manage due to proximal location, compromised vascular supply and poor wound healing. To determine the success of urethroplasty for radiation induced strictures we performed a multi-institutional review of men who underwent urethroplasty for urethral obstruction. Materials and Methods: A total of 30 men (mean age 67 years) underwent urethroplasty at 3 separate institutions. Excision with primary anastomosis was used in 24 of 30 patients (80%), with 4 of 30 requiring a genital fasciocutaneous skin flap and 2 a buccal graft. Hospitalization was less than 23 hours for 70% of the patients. Recurrence was defined as cystoscopic identification of urethral narrowing to less than 16Fr in diameter. Results: All strictures were located in the bulbomembranous region. Mean stricture length was 2.9 cm (range 1.5 to 7). External beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer was the etiology of stricture disease in 15 men (50%), with brachytherapy in 7 (24%) and a combination of the 2 modalities in 8 (26%). Successful urethral reconstruction was achieved in 22 men (73%) at a mean of 21 months. Mean time to stricture recurrence was 5.1 months (range 2 to 8). Two men required balloon dilation after stricture recurrence and none required urinary diversion. Incontinence was transient in 10% and persistent in 40%, with 13% requiring an artificial urinary sphincter. The rate of erectile dysfunction was unchanged following urethroplasty (47% preoperative, 50% postoperative). Conclusions: Urethroplasty for radiation induced strictures has an acceptable rate of success and can be performed without tissue transfer techniques in most cases. Almost half of men will experience some degree of incontinence as a result of surgery but erectile function appears to be preserved.
- urethral stricture
ASJC Scopus subject areas