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Outcomes and Quality of Life Among Men After Anal Sphincter-Sparing Transperineal Rectourethral Fistula Repair.



To describe long-term quality of life (QOL) outcomes after rectourethral fistula (RUF) repair. RUF is a debilitating diagnosis and complex surgical dilemma with limited data regarding QOL after repair.


Patients at a tertiary referral center undergoing transperineal RUF repair 1/2009-5/2016 were analyzed. Patients were contacted by telephone to assess QOL following repair. Descriptive analysis performed of short-term surgical data (success and complications) and long-term QOL data (novel questionnaire).


Twenty one men underwent RUF surgery with 95% success after initial repair. Fifty two percent had a history of radiation and/or ablation. Four individuals (19%) experienced a Clavien-Dindo complication within 30 days, with 3 of those being grade III+. Fifteen had postoperative urinary incontinence, of whom 73% underwent artificial urinary sphincter placement. Three previously radiated individuals underwent subsequent urethral stricture surgery. At long-term follow-up (mean 45.6 ± 27.1 months), 53% reported perineal pain, 43% reported problems related to the gracilis flap, and 80% reported urinary incontinence (primarily occasional mild leakage). Twenty one percent were unable to do the things they wanted in their daily lives, while 80% reported that surgery positively impacted their life. None would have opted for complete urinary diversion.


RUF repair leads to patient satisfaction and improved QOL, despite possible residual issues such as perineal pain and urinary incontinence. Definitive RUF repair should be offered to suitable radiated and nonradiated patients.

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