Management of prostatomembranous urethral disruptions associated with pelvic fractures remains a major controversy in urology. A group of 64 patients who suffered a prostatomembranous urethral disruption in association with a pelvic fracture and who were managed initially by suprapubic cystostomy with delayed urethroplasty was compared to 17 patients managed initially by primary realignment. No statistically significant difference in the incidence of impotence or urinary incontinence was found between the 2 groups (p > 0.5). Secondary reconstructions for impassable strictures developed in 95% of the patients treated by a suprapubic tube alone compared to 53% of those treated by primary realignment. Indeed, only 1 patient in the latter group achieved urethral continuity that did not require further intervention. We conclude that while primary realignment is associated with no increase in the instance of impotence and urinary incontinence, it subjects the patient to a major operation at a critical time and provides little in the way of long-term positive gains for the effort expended. In the final analysis the outcome is more dependent upon the nature of the injury and the quality of the repair than upon the order in which the repair is effected.
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