Preputial/penile skin flap, as a dorsal onlay or tubularized flap: a versatile substitute for complex anterior urethral stricture


Rakesh Kapoor, Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India (226014). e-mail:


Study Type – Therapy (case series)

Level of Evidence 4

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

For long complex anterior urethral stricture augmentation urethroplasty is considered the standard procedure but the best substitute material is still to be ascertained.

Preputial/penile skin is a very good substitute especially when used as a dorsal onlay. It demonstrates exceptional functional and cosmetic results even in patients with unsuitable oral mucosa.


  • • To present our experience of single-stage reconstruction of urethral stricture with preputial/penile skin flap, as a dorsal onlay flap (DOF) where there is an adequate urethral plate and as a tubularized flap (TF) where there is a compromised urethral plate, in cases of complex anterior urethral strictures.


  • • We retrospectively reviewed 144 patients, who underwent single-stage repair of pendular /bulbar urethral strictures with preputial/penile flap as either a DOF or a TF, between January 2001 and December 2008.
  • • Patients were divided into three groups: Group 1 consisted of patients who underwent transverse preputial DOF; Group 2 consisted of those who underwent tube urethroplasty; and Group 3 consisted of those patients who were circumcised and for whom the penile skin was used as a DOF (circumpenile flap).
  • • Patients were followed up by physical examination, retrograde urethrography, uroflowmetry and post-void residual urine measurement.


  • • The mean follow-up was 40.1 months (range 36–84 months).
  • • The primary success rates at 1 year follow-up were 90, 85 and 93.3% for Groups1, 2 and 3, respectively, and at 3-years follow-up they were 85, 75 and 86.7%, respectively.
  • • Half of the recurrences were successfully managed with a single visual internal urethrotomy or dilatation.
  • • The secondary success rate was defined as recurrent stricture managed by a single endoscopic procedure and was 5, 10 and 6.8% in Groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The overall success rate was 90.85 and 93.3%, respectively.
  • • A total of 75% of the patients in the study completed 60 months of follow-up with no additional recurrence.


  • • A preputial/penile flap for complex anterior urethral stricture is a good treatment option, with results similar to other techniques, has acceptable donor site morbidity and is effective even in circumcised patients and for those patients with unsuitable oral mucosa.
  • • A DOF is less likely to lead to diverticula formation and post-void dribbling. TFs have a higher failure rate than DOFs but, when combined judiciously with secondary endoscopic procedures, can provide good results.