Major urethral injuries from external trauma are complex problems of diagnosis and treatment. Complications resulting from injury, failed diagnosis, and inappropriate therapy include stricture, impotence, and incontinence. Opinions differ as to whether immediate suprapubic cystostomy followed by later reconstruction is preferable to immediate direct urethral realignment.
A review of 30 patients with urethral injuries is presented, 27 male and three female, 29 from blunt trauma and one gunshot. Initial suprapubic cystostomy alone was used in 26 male patients, 21 with prostatomembranous disruption and five with straddle injury. Prostatomembranous reconstruction in 14 complete urethral transections resulted in one residual stricture, two impotent patients, and no incontinence. Partial prostatomembranous disruption and straddle injuries had insignificant residual stricture, none requiring dilation or reconstruction. The results of this management approach appear superior to those of immediate urethral realignment.
Advantages of immediate suprapubic cystostomy are: 1) simplified early approach in management, and 2) successful elective reconstruction of major prostatomembranous injuries with low incidence of stricture, impotence, and incontinence.
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