Delayed Reconstruction of Bulbar Urethral Strictures is Associated with Multiple Interventions, Longer Strictures and More Complex Repairs

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Purpose:Prior to urethral reconstruction many patients with stricture undergo a variable period during which endoscopic treatments are performed for recurrent obstructive symptoms. We evaluated the association among urethroplasty delay, endoscopic treatments and subsequent reconstructive outcomes.Materials and Methods:We reviewed the records of men who underwent primary bulbar urethroplasty from 2007 to 2014. Those with prior urethroplasty, penile and/or membranous strictures and incomplete data were excluded from analysis. Men were stratified by a urethroplasty delay of less than 5, 5 to 10 or greater than 10 years from diagnosis.Results:A total of 278 primary bulbar urethroplasty cases with complete data were evaluated. Median time between stricture diagnosis and reconstruction was 5 years (IQR 2–10). Patients underwent an average ± SD of 0.9 ± 2.4 endoscopic procedures per year of delay. Relative to less than 5 and 5 to 10 years a delay of greater than 10 years was associated with more endoscopic treatments (median 1 vs 2 vs 5), repeat self-dilations (13% vs 14% vs 34%), strictures longer than 2 cm (40% vs 39% vs 56%) and complex reconstructive techniques (17% vs 17% vs 34%). An increasing number of endoscopic treatments was independently associated with strictures longer than 2 cm (OR 1.06, p = 0.003), which had worse 24-month stricture-free survival than shorter strictures (83% vs 96%, p = 0.0003). Each consecutive direct vision internal urethrotomy was independently associated with the risk of urethroplasty failure (HR 1.19, p = 0.02).Conclusions:Urethroplasty delay is common and often associated with symptomatic events managed by repeat urethral manipulations. Endoscopic treatments appear to lengthen strictures and increase the complexity of repair.

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