Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 203-209

Oral mucosa grafts for urethral reconstruction

1 Department of Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
I A Mungadi
Department of Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.59572

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Background: Urethral reconstruction has continued to present formidable and enormous challenges for urologic, paediatric and plastic surgeons as diverse opinions have been expressed on the quality and type of ideal substitution material. This literature review is aimed at drawing attention of surgeons to the versatile nature of oral mucosal grafts. Methods: A review of the utilization of oral mucosa in urethral reconstruction was made. Structured Medline search was performed looking at all aspects of utilization of oral mucosa including mucosal harvest, donor site morbidity and outcome. Results: The unique demands of the urethra set a high standard for autogenous graft substitutes; hence literature reports reveal that split and full thickness skin grafts from the scrotum, penis, extragenital sites (ureter, saphenous vein, appendix, colon, medial upper arm, neck, lateral chest, abdomen, bladder mucosa) and more recently oral mucosa have been used. Unlike other tissues, oral mucosa grafts are flexible, easy to harvest and trim and have an excellent microvasculature favorable for graft-taking. Furthermore, the natural moist location of the oral mucosa in the oral environment favours its easy adaptability in the urethral passage thus giving good long-term results. However, there are reports of complications at the donor site with the commonest being anaesthesia or paraesthesia of the cheek or lips. Regional variations of the oral mucosa, length of the graft required, the decision to close or leave donor site open and harvesting technique are some of the factors suggested to account for differences in donor site morbidity. Conclusion: Oral mucosal graft is a versatile urethral substitute with excellent outcome. It is becoming the gold standard for urethral substitution.

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