Do Transurethral Treatments Increase the Complexity of Urethral Strictures?
We examined the impact on urethral stricture complexity at urethroplasty of previous transurethral treatments such as dilation, urethrotomy and stenting, which are most commonly performed when treating male urethral stricture.Materials and Methods:
We retrospectively reviewed the records of 45 males who had undergone transurethral treatments before urethroplasty. We compared urethrography findings at initial diagnosis with those at urethroplasty. Males with failed hypospadias repair, lichen sclerosis or a history of prior urethroplasty were excluded from analysis. We considered stricture complexity increased if the number and/or length of strictures on urethrography at urethroplasty was greater than that at initial diagnosis or false passage was newly identified.Results:
Of the patients 39 (87%), 32 (71%) and 13 (29%) had undergone urethral dilation, urethrotomy and urethral stenting, respectively, and 39 (87%) had undergone repeat or multiple kinds of transurethral treatments. Stricture complexity was increased in 22 men (49%) while 7 (16%) required urethroplasty more complex than that anticipated from urethrography findings at initial diagnosis. Increased stricture complexity was significantly associated with a history of urethrotomy (p = 0.03), urethral stenting (p = 0.0002) and repeat transurethral treatments (p = 0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed that urethral stenting (p = 0.01) and repeat transurethral treatments (p = 0.01) were independent predictors of increased stricture complexity.Conclusions:
Repeat transurethral treatments increase stricture complexity and are potentially counterproductive. Even a single application of temporary urethral stenting carries a high risk of complicating the stricture and requiring complex urethroplasty.