Endoscopic antegrade laser incision in the treatment of urethral stricture



      To examine the possibility of antegrade incisions at varying stricture lengths. We have developed a new method of using a ureteroscope and holmium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser to make an antegrade incision without using a guidewire. Endoscopic internal urethrotomy involves the use of a guidewire or ureteral catheter that is passed through the stricture as an indicator for retrograde incision.


      An antegrade incision was performed in 31 procedures for 28 patients with urethral strictures. We used a semirigid ureteroscope with an outer diameter of 6F at the tip. The ureteroscope was inserted into the urethra and passed through the stricture into the bladder under direct vision. The ureteroscope was pulled distally while an incision was made using the holmium:YAG laser at the 10-o’clock and 2-o’clock positions to a diameter of 17F. The endoscope was then replaced by a 17F panendoscope and an antegrade incision was similarly made up to 21F to 22F.


      An antegrade incision without the use of a guidewire was possible in all cases. Of the 31 incisions, restenosis appeared in 11 (35%). Of the 11 cases, re-incision was performed in 4 cases, and urethral sounding was conducted in the other 7 cases. Of the 4 re-incision cases, restenosis recurred in only 1 case. Of the 31 incisions, 23 (74%) were eventually successful.


      Antegrade incision using the narrow-diameter ureteroscope and holmium:YAG laser is a safe and easy method. This method is especially effective in cases of long strictures.
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