The placement of a 1.5 cm. wide silicone sheath around a newly constructed urethra/bladder neck to ensure maintenance of repair length and to facilitate future placement of a sphincter cuff was reported by our institution in 1985. We present our long-term followup and new recommendations for use of the silicone sheath. A total of 15 silicone sheaths was placed between March 1981 and July 1984. Of the sheaths 14 were placed at the time of urinary reconstruction around the Young-Dees-Leadbetter bladder neck repair and 1 was placed after erosion of an artificial urinary sphincter cuff. Of the 15 sheaths 10 have eroded into the urethra and 4 sheaths remain in situ. Another sheath was replaced 2 years after its original insertion with an artificial urinary sphincter cuff. Mean time to erosion was 48.2 months, with a range of 2 to 108 months. Long-term followup of 10 patients revealed that 4 ultimately required ligation of the bladder neck and construction of continent stoma after erosion, 1 is dry after placement of a bulbar artificial urinary sphincter, 2 remain dry after removal of the eroded sheath alone, 2 required bladder neck revision to achieve continence after erosion and the most recent patient remains diverted with a suprapubic tube. All 4 patients with sheaths still remaining are dry without evidence of erosion (mean duration 116 months). These long-term results using a silicone wrap around a newly constructed bladder neck reveal an unacceptably high rate of erosion. Therefore, we no longer recommend or support the use of the silicone sheath in the manner we have described for bladder neck reconstruction.
- bladder neck
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