The Modified Prone Jack-knife Position for the Excision of Female Urethral Diverticula.Eur Urol. 2021 02; 79(2):290-297.EU
Female urethral diverticula (UD) are an uncommon and often overlooked aetiology in women presenting with lower urinary tract symptoms, urethral pain, and recurrent urinary tract infection. With increasing awareness, appropriate imaging is more commonly undertaken with consideration given to surgical management.
The video presented demonstrates the technique for excising large and/or complex UD using a modified prone jack-knife position-a position that offers excellent surgical access and allows the surgeon to operate in a more ergonomic position.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
A retrospective review of the data on patients undergoing excision of UD at a tertiary referral unit was performed.
Urethral and suprapubic catheters (±insertion of ureteric stents) were placed in supine position. UD excised in the modified prone jack-knife position (±placement of a Martius flap).
Subjective cure rate, recurrence rate, rates of postoperative urinary incontinence, need for secondary incontinence procedure, and postoperative complications were measured.
RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS
A total of 121 patients were operated on in the study period. The mean follow-up time was 10 mo (range 3-40). The most frequent presenting symptoms included a vaginal mass (n = 76, 63%), followed by dysuria (n = 72, 60%) and pelvic pain (n = 71, 59%). An identifiable aetiological factor was present in 45 patients, including traumatic vaginal delivery (18, 15%), prior periurethral surgery (17, 14%), and urethral dilatation (10, 8%). All patients underwent postvoiding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm the diagnosis and plan surgery. UD ranged in maximum diameter from 8 to 48 mm, with a mean of 43 mm (standard deviation 9.24). The most common anatomical location was midurethral (55, 46%), followed by distal (36, 30%), proximal (25, 21%), and full length (5, 4%). Most UDs were single in configuration (74%), followed by multiloculated (15%), saddle shaped (7%), and circumferential (5%). On preoperative videourodynamics, 17 (14%) had stress urinary incontinence. UD excision was undertaken in the modified prone jack-knife position in all cases. A Martius flap was utilised in 36 (30%). The median postoperative postvoiding residual was 26 ml (interquartile range 0-40). In total, 88 (73%) patients were continent postoperatively and 16 (13%) experienced de novo stress urinary incontinence. Of the 37 with pre-existing stress incontinence symptoms, 20 (54%) were continent after operation. A total of 14 patients had subsequent autologous fascial sling at 6 mo. In total, five symptomatic recurrences occurred (4%); of these patients, three elected to undergo surgical excision, all of whom had symptom resolution and were continent after operation. A total of 11 patients (9%) experienced a Clavien-Dindo grade I-II complication within 90 d after operation. Five patients complained of dyspareunia, which resolved by 6 mo.
The modified prone jack-knife position facilitates excellent access for excision of both simple and complex UDs. This positioning of the patient is not widely recognised amongst urologists. Using this approach, there were low rates of symptomatic recurrence and de novo stress incontinence at medium-term follow-up. Associated urinary incontinence resolves in over half of patients following UD excision; hence, we advocate deferring any incontinence procedure until after the results of surgery are established.
Surgical removal of urethral outpouching (diverticula) in women is challenging due to its potential to damage the nearby sphincter muscle, which controls continence, or the urethra tube. Placement of patients on their front, rather than on their back, provides excellent access for the surgical removal of urethral diverticula. With this approach, we achieved excellent rates of cure and low rates of urinary incontinence at an average follow-up of 10 mo.