Dorsal or ventral placement of the preputial/penile skin onlay flap for anterior urethral strictures:does it make a difference?


M. Bhandari, Director, Sanjay Post Graduate Institute, Lucknow 226013, India.


Objective To report our experience in managing complex anterior urethral strictures with a dorsally/dorsolaterally placed penile/preputial vascularized flap, and to discuss the advantages of this procedure over a traditional ventrally placed flap.

Patients and methods Between 1995 and 1999, 40 patients (mean age 40.5 years) with recurrent strictures of the pendulous and/or bulbar urethra were treated with longitudinal penile/circumpenile flap substitution urethroplasty. Nineteen patients underwent dorsal placement of the flap as an onlay (DO), whereas 21 patients had a ventral onlay (VO). Five patients needed inferior pubectomy to facilitate high proximal placement of the flap.

Results Both groups had statistically similar ages, number of previous interventions, stricture site, length and follow-up. After a median follow-up of 27.5 months, the stricture recurred in three (24%) of the VO and two (11%) of the DO groups (P > 0.05). One patient in the VO group required surgical closure of the urethral fistula. Flap pseudo-diverticulum and/or sacculation with postvoid dribble occurred in six patients in the VO and none in the DO group (P = 0.01).

Conclusions Dorsal placement of the pedicled flap is anatomically and functionally more appropriate than the traditional VO placement. DO preputial/penile flap urethroplasty is a versatile procedure and can be applied even for long anterior urethral strictures, including reconstruction of the meatus and high proximal bulbar strictures.