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J Urol. 2007 Oct;178(4 Pt 2):1656-8; discussion 1658. Epub 2007 Aug 17.

Traumatic obliterative urethral strictures in pediatric patients: failure of the cut to light technique at long-term followup.

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Department of Urology, Mayo Medical School and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



The cut to light procedure or antegrade and retrograde urethroscopy with endoscopic incision of obliterative urethral strictures is an accepted method of treating posterior urethral distraction injuries. We report long-term followup on 22 pediatric patients treated with this technique.


The records of all pediatric patients with a posterior urethral distraction injury treated from 1986 through 2006 were reviewed. The cut to light procedure was performed for obliterative strictures less than 1 cm via a cold knife or laser in 11 patients each. A urethral catheter was left in situ for 3 weeks. Patients were then followed a minimum of 2 years.


A total of 22 patients at a median age of 11 years (range 3 to 16) were treated. Followup revealed stricture recurrence in all patients. Median time to recurrence was 3 months after catheter removal (range 5 days to 1 year). Although intermittent catheterization to maintain patency was attempted in all patients, the development of impassable urethral strictures in 16 (73%) and complaints of chronic pain with catheterization in 4 (18%) led to end-to-end urethroplasty. Successful reconstruction with open surgery was achieved in 19 of 20 patients (95%). Two patients (9%) maintained urethral patency with intermittent catheterization.


In children with obliterative posterior urethral distraction injuries a cut to light procedure had a long-term success rate of 0%. All patients required daily intermittent catheterization (9%) or formal urethral reconstruction (91%) to maintain patency. We would strongly recommend against treating pediatric obliterative urethral strictures with a cut to light procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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