Management of urethrocutaneous fistula following hypospadias repair.

Research paper by A J A AJ Holland, M M Abubacker, G H H GH Smith, D T DT Cass

Indexed on: 01 Aug '08Published on: 01 Aug '08Published in: Pediatric Surgery International


Urethrocutaneous fistulas complicating hypospadias repair appear a common problem. There appears less data in the literature regarding the risk and management of recurrent fistulas. A retrospective review of urethrocutaneous fistulas complicating hypospadias repair was performed to evaluate their aetiology, management and outcome. Between 1993 and 2003, 1,753 patients had a hypospadias repair at our institution. Overall 123 (7%) boys developed a fistula, although detailed information was available on 117 patients only. Median age was 3.5 years at the time of fistula repair; 13% had anterior, 57% had middle and 30% had posterior hypospadias. The most common primary surgical procedure was a Durham Smith two-stage repair in 29% (n = 34), followed by a Tubularised Incised Plate urethroplasty in 19% (n = 22) and an Onlay in 14% (n = 16). Thirty-one (27%) patients developed a recurrent fistula, 9 (29%) of which recurred following a second repair. None recurred after a third repair. The risk of a recurrent fistula after an initial distal fistula repair was 12.5% and after a posterior fistula was 62% (chi(2) = 15.4, P = 0.001). Use of a stent, suture type, numbers of fistula and closure attempts did not influence the recurrence rate. Undiagnosed distal obstruction was thought to be related to 27 of 117 first fistula repairs (23%) and 4 of 31 second fistula repairs (13%). The risk of recurrent urethrocutaneous fistula was increased in those boys with a posterior fistula, following a simple repair or when there was evidence of distal urethral obstruction.