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Urethroscopic Findings following Urethroplasty Predict the Need for Secondary Intervention in the Long Term: A Multi-Institutional Study from Trauma and Urologic Reconstructive Network of Surgeons



Postoperative surveillance urethroscopy has been shown to be an effective tool to predict reoperation within 1 year after urethroplasty. We aimed to evaluate early surveillance urethroscopy findings and long-term outcomes among urethroplasty patients in order to define the value of surveillance urethroscopy to predict failure.

Materials and methods

We evaluated 304 patients with at least 4 years of followup after urethroplasty performed at 10 institutions across the United States and Canada. All patients were surveilled using a flexible 17Fr cystoscope and were categorized into 3 groups: 1) normal lumen, 2) large-caliber stricture (≥17Fr) defined as the ability of the cystoscope to easily pass the narrowing and 3) small-caliber stricture (<17Fr) that the cystoscope could not be passed. Failure was stricture recurrence requiring a secondary intervention.


The median followup time was 64.4 months (range 55.3-80.6) and the time to initial surveillance urethroscopy was 3.7 months (range 3.1-4.8) following urethroplasty. Secondary interventions were performed in 29 of 194 (15%) with normal lumens, 11 of 60 (18.3%) with ≥17Fr strictures and 32 of 50 (64%) with <17Fr strictures (p <0.001). The 1-, 3- and 9-year cumulative probability of intervention was 0.01, 0.06 and 0.23 for normal, 0.05, 0.17 and 0.18 for ≥17Fr, and 0.32, 0.50 and 0.73 for <17Fr lumen groups, respectively. Patient-reported outcome measures performed poorly to differentiate the 3 groups.


Early cystoscopic visualization of scar recurrence that narrows the lumen to <17Fr following urethroplasty is a significant long-term predictor for patients who will eventually undergo a secondary intervention.

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