Objective— To evaluate the feasibility of urethroplasty using a free fascia lata (FL) graft in the dog.
Study Design— In vivo experimental study.
Animals— Mixed-breed dogs (n=14).
Methods— Half of the circumference of the urethra, ∼1.5 cm long, was excised in 14 male dogs to induce a urethral defect. FL (∼2 cm × 2 cm) harvested from the lateral thigh was sutured to the urethra using a 3-0 polyglactin 910 continuous pattern. Dogs were monitored daily for bladder distention and had urethral catheters until normal voiding was observed. On day 60, each dog had a positive contrast urethrogram, and then 8 dogs were euthanatized for gross and histologic examination. Six dogs were monitored for urologic problems for 6 months, and a positive contrast urethrogram was repeated.
Results— All dogs recovered successfully; 4 dogs had difficulty voiding for 2–3 days and urine was aspirated from these dogs every 3 hours until signs of painful urination disappeared. On positive contrast urethrograms, urethral anatomy was considered normal except in 4 dogs that had an irregular contour. Gross urethral examination confirmed an absence of ulceration, stricture, diverticula, or fistula formation, and the FL-lined graft survived in all dogs. No degenerative and reparative responses were observed. On histologic examination of the penile urethra, the lumen was intact, covered with transitional epithelium, and surrounded by corpus spongiosum with cavernous spaces and blood-filled vessels.
Conclusions— Free FL grafts are incorporated satisfactorily and would appear to be useful for repairing urethral defects.
Clinical Relevance— FL grafts should be considered for repair of urethral defects in dogs.