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A Prospective Study of Patient-reported Pain After Bulbar Urethroplasty

      Objective

      To understand the prevalence of chronic perineal pain, activity limitations, and patient satisfaction after urethroplasty.

      Methods

      From 2014 to 2016, we prospectively enrolled men undergoing urethroplasty for bulbar urethral strictures. Patients, before and after surgery, completed questions from the Core Lower Urinary Tract Symptom Score assessing pain frequency in the bladder and penis or urethra, as well as nonvalidated questions assessing perineal pain. Overall satisfaction with their current urinary condition and pain-related activity limitations at home, work, or during exercise were also measured. Patients with <3 months of follow-up were excluded. Pre-and postoperative scores were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

      Results

      Thirty-five men were included in the study. Mean age and body mass index were 44.6 years and 30.9 kg/m2, respectively. Urethroplasties were anastomotic in 24 (69%) and were single-stage buccal graft substitution in 11 (31%). Median follow-up after surgery was 483 days (range: 90-810 days). A total of 10 patients (29%) reported worsening perineal pain intensity after surgery, whereas 8 (23%) reported improvement and 17 (48%) reported no change. Overall, pain frequency in the bladder, penis or urethra, and perineum improved. Home and exercise pain-related activity restrictions improved significantly after surgery. Satisfaction with current urinary condition also improved with 91% reporting feeling “delighted,” “pleased,” or “mostly satisfied” with their current condition.

      Conclusion

      Patients are highly satisfied with their urinary condition after urethroplasty. Pain frequency in the bladder and the urethra significantly improves after urethroplasty; however, perineal pain intensity can worsen and become chronic after surgery in some patients.
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