Trends in Stricture Management Among Male Medicare Beneficiaries: Underuse of Urethroplasty?

Department of Urology, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Urology (Impact Factor: 2.19). 02/2011; 77(2):481-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.urology.2010.05.055
Source: PubMed


To analyze the trends in male urethral stricture management using the 1992-2001 Medicare claims data and to determine whether certain racial and ethnic groups have a disproportionate burden of urethral stricture disease.
We analyzed the Medicare claims for fiscal years 1992, 1995, 1998, and 2001. The "International Classification of Disease, 9th revision," diagnosis codes were used to identify men with urethral stricture. The demographic characteristics assessed included patient age, race, and comorbidities, as measured using the Charlson index. Treatments were identified using the Physician Current Procedural Terminology Coding System, 4th edition, procedure codes and stratified into 4 treatment types: urethral dilation, direct vision internal urethrotomy, urethral stent/steroid injection, and urethroplasty.
The overall rates of stricture diagnosis decreased from 10,088/100,000 population in 1992 to 6897 in 2001 (from 1.4% to 0.9%). The stricture prevalence was greatest among black and Hispanic men, although the urethroplasty rates were greatest among white men. Direct vision internal urethrotomy was the most common treatment, followed by urethral dilation, urethral stent/steroid injection, and urethroplasty. The urethroplasty rates remained stable, but quite low (0.6%-0.8%), during the study period.
The overall rates of stricture diagnosis decreased from 1992 to 2001. Despite the poor overall efficacy of urethrotomy and urethral dilation relative to urethroplasty and despite the known complications of stent placement in this setting, the urethroplasty rates were the lowest of all treatments. Although we could not determine the treatment success with these data, these findings suggest an underuse of the most efficacious treatment of urethral stricture disease, urethroplasty.

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    • "However, in nationwide surveys, urologists prefer to perform DVIU even when the risk of recurrence is virtually 100% [4]. Similarly, DVIU was the most common procedure followed by urethral dilatation, stent/steroid injection in a review of Medicare claims [5]. However, it has been shown that multiple transurethral manipulations increases the complexity and disease duration when patients are referred for definitive urethroplasty [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To identify patient and stricture characteristics predicting failure after direct vision internal urethrotomy (DVIU) for single and short (<2 cm) bulbar urethral strictures. Patients and methods: We retrospectively analysed the records of adult patients who underwent DVIU between January 2002 and 2013. The patients' demographics and stricture characteristics were analysed. The primary outcome was procedure failure, defined as the need for regular self-dilatation (RSD), redo DVIU or substitution urethroplasty. Predictors of failure were analysed. Results: In all, 430 adult patients with a mean (SD) age of 50 (15) years were included. The main causes of stricture were idiopathic followed by iatrogenic in 51.6% and 26.3% of patients, respectively. Most patients presented with obstructive lower urinary tract symptoms (68.9%) and strictures were proximal bulbar, i.e. just close to the external urethral sphincter, in 35.3%. The median (range) follow-up duration was 29 (3-132) months. In all, 250 (58.1%) patients did not require any further instrumentation, while RSD was maintained in 116 (27%) patients, including 28 (6.5%) who required a redo DVIU or urethroplasty. In 64 (6.5%) patients, a redo DVIU or urethroplasty was performed. On multivariate analysis, older age at presentation [odds ratio (OR) 1.017; P = 0.03], obesity (OR 1.664; P = 0.015), and idiopathic strictures (OR 3.107; P = 0.035) were independent predictors of failure after DVIU. Conclusion: The failure rate after DVIU accounted for 41.8% of our present cohort with older age at presentation, obesity, and idiopathic strictures independent predictors of failure after DVIU. This information is important in counselling patients before surgery.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Arab Journal of Urology
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    • "Although urethroplasty remains the best option with a higher success rate and a satisfactory outcome, urethroplasty has not been widely performed because it is a more invasive and technically complex procedure [10,11]. Up to now, most patients underwent multiple urethral dilatations or urethrotomies [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To report our early experience with thermo-expandable urethral stents (Memokath) for the management of recurrent urethral stricture and to assess the efficacy of urethral stents. Between March 2012 and February 2013, 13 patients with recurrent urethral stricture after several attempts with direct visual internal urethrotomy (DVIU) or failed urethroplasty underwent DVIU with thermally expandable, nickel-titanium alloy urethral stent (Memokath) insertion. Follow-up study time points were at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after stent insertion. Follow-up evaluation included uroflowmetry, retrograde urethrogram, plain radiography, and urinalysis. The mean patient age was 47.7 years (range, 18 to 74 years). The mean urethral stricture length was 5.54 cm (range, 1 to 12 cm). There were six patients with bulbar, four patients with proximal penile, one patient with distal penile, and two patients with whole penile urethral strictures, respectively. The overall success rate was 69% (9/13) and the mean postoperative peak flow rate was 17.7 mL/s (range, 6 to 28 mL/s). Major complications occurred in four patients including one patient (7.7%) with urethrocutaneous fistula induced by the stent and three patients with urethral hyperplasia. The mean follow-up duration was 8.4 months. Our initial clinical experience indicates that thermo-expandable stents can be another temporary management option for recurrent urethral stricture patients who are unfit for or refuse urethroplasty. Distal or whole penile urethral stricture can be factors predicting poor results.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Korean journal of urology
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    • "Men whose strictures recur after a single urethrotomy or dilation are almost invariably likely to fail a second procedure [6,7]. Although definitive urethroplasty has a very high cure rate with acceptably low morbidity, unfortunately this treatment modality is performed infrequently [1]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To date, the morbidity of urethral stricture disease among American men has not been analyzed using national datasets. We sought to analyze the morbidity of urethral stricture disease by measuring the rates of urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence among men with a diagnosis of urethral stricture. We analyzed Medicare claims data for 1992, 1995, 1998, and 2001 to estimate the rate of dual diagnoses of urethral stricture with urinary tract infection and with urinary incontinence occurring in the same year among a 5% sample of beneficiaries. Male Medicare beneficiaries receiving co-incident ICD-9 codes indicating diagnoses of urethral stricture and either urinary tract infection or urinary incontinence within the same year were counted. The percentage of male patients with a diagnosis of urethral stricture who also were diagnosed with a urinary tract infection was 42% in 2001, an increase from 35% in 1992. Eleven percent of male Medicare beneficiaries with urethral stricture disease in 2001 were diagnosed with urinary incontinence in the same year. This represents an increase from 8% in 1992. Among male Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with urethral stricture disease in 2001, 42% were also diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, and 11% with incontinence. Although the overall incidence of stricture disease decreased over this time period, these rates of dual diagnoses increased from 1992 to 2001. Our findings shed light into the health burden of stricture disease on American men. In order to decrease the morbidity of stricture disease, early definitive management of strictures is warranted.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · BMC Urology
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