To evaluate the feasibility of buccal mucosal graft urethroplasty for repairing complete urethral rupture in cats.
15 male domestic shorthair cats with traumatic complete urethral rupture.
In each cat, a section of buccal mucosa was harvested, sutured, and formed into a tubule by use of an 8F indwelling catheter as support. This tubular graft was connected to both ruptured ends of the urethra to renew the urinary passage. The catheter was left in place until the absence of leakage was confirmed by positive contrast retrograde urethrography. After spontaneous urination was confirmed, cats were discharged from the hospital. Six months later, urethrography was repeated and owners were asked to score their cats’ urinary function and quality of life.
13 cats recovered well following surgery, with no complications in the oral cavity or surgical site and no signs of difficulty or discomfort when urinating. Urethrography 2 weeks and 6 months after surgery revealed no stricture or leakage in the abdominal cavity. The 2 remaining cats developed a urethral stricture and underwent second surgery with a successful outcome. At the 6-month follow-up, 14 cats had only mild urinary signs, and 1 cat had incontinency. Owners indicated they were delighted (n = 14) or pleased (1) with their cats’ quality of life.
Buccal mucosa was found to be a good source of graft tissue for performance of urethroplasty in male cats, yielding satisfactory outcomes with few postoperative complications. The described technique may be suitable for severe and complicated cases of urethral rupture in male cats.