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J Urol. 2006 Jun;175(6):2186-90; discussion 2190.

Outcomes following erosions of the artificial urinary sphincter.

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Division of Urologic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.



Artificial urinary sphincter urethral cuff erosion occurs in up to 5.0% of cases, presenting a complex management problem. We examine our experience with the eroded AUS, relating to preoperative risk factors, operative management and outcomes.


We reviewed the medical records of 637 patients undergoing bulbar urethral AUS implantation from 1990 to 2003 for demographic and surgical variables.


Of the 637 records reviewed, 46 patients underwent 54 explantations of the AUS device for erosions, including 13 who had the primary implant performed at our institution and 33 being referred for management of erosion after implantation elsewhere. Our institution erosion rate was 2.2%. Mean followup after AUS reimplant following erosion was 27.8 months (range 1 to 180). Comorbidities were more prevalent in patients with erosions included hypertension (p = 0.006), coronary artery disease (p = 0.03), prior radiation therapy (p = 0.006) and prior AUS revisions (p = 0.0001). A majority of patients had persistent mild incontinence (0 to 1 pad daily in 29 or 56.8%), moderate (1 to 3 pads daily in 9 or 17.4%) and severe (more than 3 pads daily in 6 or 11.8%) incontinence after secondary AUS implantation. Patients who underwent reimplantation after AUS cuff erosions have a significantly higher rate of second erosions (in 16, 34.8%) within an average of 6.7 months (range 3 to 24), including our own 11.8% institutional rate (in 4).


Our study suggests that patients with comorbidities including hypertension, coronary artery disease, prior radiation therapy and prior AUS revisions are more likely to have erosions of their AUS. Nevertheless, continence can still be salvaged using various strategies which optimize use of the remaining healthy urethral tissue.

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