Primary urethral reconstruction results in penile fracture

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study assessed primary urethral reconstruction results in patients with a penile fracture.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Between January 2005 and April 2016, patients who underwent primary urethral reconstruction due to penile fracture were called for a follow-up. Epidemiological and clinical presentation data and operative findings were reviewed retrospectively. Partial urethral lesions were primarily treated with interrupted absorbable sutures over urethral catheter. In cases of complete urethral lesion, tension-free end-to-end anastomosis was performed. From the third month after surgery, all patients were interviewed using the International Prostate Symptom Score questionnaire and uroflowmetry. Retrograde urethrocystography was used in patients with urinary symptoms or altered uroflowmetry to rule out or confirm urethral stenosis.

RESULTS

Of 175 patients with penile fractures, 27 (15.4%) had associated urethral injury. All patients were diagnosed with penile fracture by means of clinical history and physical examination. No subsequent examinations were conducted. Ages varied from 30 years to 58 years old (mean 39.2 years). All fractures resulted from sexual activity. Reported sexual positions were ‘doggy style’ position in eight cases (61.5%) and with the ‘man on top’ in five cases (38.4%). Ten patients (76.9%) experienced haematuria, ten (76.9%) had urethral bleeding and four (30.7%) suffered urinary retention. Unilateral and bilateral injury of the corpus cavernosum was observed in four (30.7%) and nine (69.2%) patients, respectively; partial injury was found in nine cases (69.3%) and complete urethral injury was noticed in four cases (30.7%). All cases of complete urethral injury were associated with bilateral lesion of the corpus cavernosum. Six patients who had uroflowmetry with maximum urinary flow rate below 15 ml/s and/or had IPSS above 7 underwent retrograde urethrocystogram, and this was normal in all cases, excluding the possibility of urethral stenosis. Two patients (15.3%) experienced surgical postoperative complications represented by an urethrocutaneous fistula and a subcutaneous abscess adjacent to the end-to-end anastomosis area.

CONCLUSIONS

Penile fracture is a rare urological emergency, especially when it is associated with a urethral lesion. This must be suspected when the clinical picture is suggestive or in cases of high-energy trauma, especially in bilateral lesions of the corpus cavernosum. Complementary imaging methods are not needed in these cases and immediate exploration should not be delayed. Primary urethroplasty produces satisfactory results with low complication levels. Nonetheless, prospective studies with larger samples should be conducted.

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