This report details the incidence and description of trauma to the external genitalia experienced during Operation Iraqi Freedom at a United States Army Combat Support Hospital, and demonstrates that acceptable rates of testicular salvage are possible in the combat setting. The operating room logs and the Joint Theater Trauma Registry were used to conduct a retrospective review of the patients who sustained genitourinary (GU) injuries at an US Army Combat Support Hospital (CSH) in Iraq from 27 February 2007 to 14 August 2007. Of the 3595 battle trauma injuries seen at the CSH during the time period, 168 (4.7%) had one or more GU injuries for a total of 172 GU injuries. Of these patients, 115 (68%) with GU injuries had one or more injuries to the external genitalia for a total of 119 external GU injuries. Penetrating trauma to the penis and scrotum accounted for 59 of the injuries. In total, 43 testicles were injured in 34 patients (9 had bilateral injuries). In total, 32 testes were repaired primarily and 11 were removed. Injuries to the external genitalia continue to account for the vast majority of GU trauma in a combat setting. Of patients who presented with penetrating testicular trauma, there was a 74.4% salvage rate, which is higher than previous reports of combat external genitalia injuries. Treatment of penetrating trauma to the external genitalia in a combat setting requires attention to tissue preservation while coordinating associated surgical procedures.
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