So all of a sudden the surgeon who’d assisted with my urethroplasty back in May became interested in my case again. This time he wanted me to travel up to the hospital he worked at, a couple of hours north, so that he could do a cystoscopy under general anaesthetic and maybe attempt a urethrotomy.
We drove up, turned up at the ward at 09:00 like they asked and then there was the usual hanging around. I eventually got taken down to pre-op around 11:30 and then into surgery around 12:00.
By 14:00 I was back up at the ward. I still had a suprapubic catheter (although they’d replaced the one from two months ago) and no urethral catheter, so obviously they hadn’t succeeded with the urethrotomy.
When the surgeon came round he explained that as far as he could tell the whole grafted area was now blocked and they’d have to do another urethroplasty. This time he’s recommending a two-stage urethroplasty. That’s where they open up the urethra, do a buccal mucosal graft and then leave it open for six months to heal. After that they “tubularise” the graft by sewing the urethra closed again around a catheter. Success rates are apparently very good (I’ve seen figures as high as 98% but in this field there are a lot of not especially good studies) even with complex strictures of the penile urethra like mine.
There are two places in the country that can do this, both apparently equally good. So it’s a choice between two hours north (with a roughly three month waiting time) or three hours west (waiting time unknown). The next step is to pester my local urology department to contact both hospitals and give me a referral.