Urethral diverticula in women


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Abstract

| Female urethral diverticula are rare, benign epithelium-lined outpouchings of the female urethra. Patients can present with a multitude of symptoms, most commonly urinary incontinence, recurrent UTIs and dyspareunia. These presenting symptoms are often confused with other diagnoses leading to delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Diagnosis and preoperative assessment of bladder function is most accurate using a combination of clinical examination, T2-weighted postvoid MRI and videocystometrography. Best treatment is by vaginal excision, a procedure with a very low recurrence rate and high patient acceptability. Excision also results in high cure rates for associated dyspareunia, UTI and voiding dysfunction. Pre-existing urodynamically proven stress urinary incontinence (USUI) resolves in 50% of patients after excision of the diverticulum with Martius labial fat pad interposition without the need for further treatment. Potential adverse effects after surgery are new-onset USUI, urethrovaginal fistula and urethral stricture. The rate of onset of these potential adverse effects is low and related to the preoperative appearance of the diverticulum on an MRI scan and the complexity of the diverticulum.

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