Various urethral conditions often require additional tissue for reconstruction. Although several innovative tissues have been proposed for possible use as free grafts for urethral repair, all have specific advantages and disadvantages. The use of these tissues may be associated with additional procedures for graft retrieval, prolonged hospitalization, and donor-site morbidity. For these reasons, alternate materials have been sought for urethral repair. Our laboratory has developed an acellular collagen matrix that has shown adequate urothelial-cell epithelialization and urethral-tissue regeneration both experimentally and clinically. After a 3-year follow-up period, all patients who have had their urethras reconstructed with the acellular matrix are doing well, showing no clinical change from their immediate postoperative results. Other acellular materials may soon be tried clinically. Long-term studies need to be conducted before any of these materials can be accepted for routine use in urethral reconstructive procedures.
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