Purpose: In select patients with urethral strictures in whom genital skin is insufficient alternative tissues are needed for urethral reconstruction. We explored the feasibility of using a bladder submucosa collagen based inert matrix as a free graft substitute for urethral stricture repair. Materials and Methods: A total of 28 patients 22 to 61 years old with a diagnosis of urethral stricture underwent reconstructive surgery using a collagen based inert matrix for urethral repair. The inert collagen matrix was trimmed to size as needed for each patient and the neourethra was created by anastomosing the matrix in an onlay fashion to the urethral plate with continuous 6-zero absorbable sutures. The size of the created neourethra ranged from 1.5 to 16 cm. A voiding history, physical examination, retrograde urethrography, uroflowmetry and cystoscopic examinations were performed preoperatively and postoperatively. Random urethral biopsies were also performed. Results: After a 36 to 48-month followup (mean 37) 24 of the 28 patients had a successful outcome. The remaining 4 patients had a slight caliber decrease at the anastomotic sites on urethrography. A subcoronal fistula developed in 1 patient which closed spontaneously 1 year after repair. Mean maximum urine flow rate increased from the preoperative value of 9 ± 1.29 to 19.7 ± 3.07 ml. per second postoperatively. Cystoscopic studies revealed adequate caliber conduits and normal appearing urethral tissues. Histological examination of the biopsy specimens showed the typical urethral stratified epithelium. Conclusions: Use of an off-the-shelf collagen inert matrix appears to be beneficial for patients with urethral strictures and obviates the need for obtaining an autologous graft, thus eliminating donor site morbidity.
- Urethral stricture
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