The management of primary and recurrent bulbar urethral stricture disease has been a source of controversy with the choice being between endoscopic urethrotomy and open urethroplasty. Further debate exists with regard to the choice of urethroplasty - either excision and primary anastomosis (EPA) or augmentation with a graft or flap. Using PubMed, a 35-year literature search was conducted (1975-2010) for peer-reviewed articles on bulbar strictures treated using EPA. Exclusions included articles with <10 patients, duplications, reviews, or in which the cohort was mixed and the data could not be separately analyzed. Seventeen articles fulfilled the criteria with a total of 1234 patients. Overall success was 93.8%. Reported complications were <5%, and there was no evidence of persistent loss of sexual function. The authors conclude that EPA is associated with a high success rate with low complication rate. Our recommendation is that it should be performed in patients with short isolated bulbar strictures, when expected success rates of other procedures are <90%.
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