Objectives: To report the outcomes of men treated initially with a period of urethral rest to allow tissue recovery before anterior urethroplasty. Many men referred to referral centers for anterior urethral reconstruction often present soon after the endoscopic manipulation of severe strictures. Methods: We reviewed our database of all anterior urethroplasties performed by a single surgeon from 2007 to 2009. Urethral rest was accomplished by removal of the indwelling catheter, cessation of self-catheterization, and/or suprapubic urinary diversion before urethral reconstruction. Results: During the study period, 210 patients underwent urethral reconstruction at our center. Men who had undergone meatoplasty or posterior urethroplasty were excluded, leaving 128 anterior urethroplasty patients available for analysis. Of these men, 28 (21%) were preoperatively given an initial period of urethral rest (median duration 3 months) because of recent urologic manipulation occurring immediately before referral. Of the 28 patients, 15 (54%) received suprapubic catheters. Urethral rest promoted identification of severely fibrotic stricture segments, enabling focal or complete excision in 75% (excision and primary anastomosis in 12 [43%] and augmented anastomosis in 9 [32%]), a percentage similar to that for those undergoing reconstruction without preliminary manipulation mandating urethral rest (82%). Stricture recurrence developed in 4 (14%) of the 28 rest patients, a rate again similar to that for the remainder of the urethroplasty population (10%). Conclusions: The results of our study have shown that recently manipulated anterior urethral strictures often declare themselves to be obliterative within several months of urethral rest, thus enabling successful urethroplasty by focal or complete excision.
ASJC Scopus subject areas