Urethrocutaneous fistula complicating circumcision in children

  • SO Ikuerowo
  • MJ Bioku
  • OA Omisanjo
  • JO Esho
Keywords: Circumcision, complication, repair, urethrocutaneous fistula


Introduction: Urethrocutaneous fistula is an unusual but preventable complication following circumcision. We describe our experience with the management of this potentially challenging condition.
Materials and Methods: We reviewed all patients who had surgical repair of post‑circumcision urethrocutaneous fistula from September 2008 to September 2011 in our institution.
Results: Thirty‑one cases presenting at age 4 weeks to 12 years were managed. Twenty‑six (84%) had had circumcision in the neonatal period. Most circumcisions (81%) were carried out by nurses using the dissection method and without anesthesia. In 30 (97%) patients, the fistula was single. The fistula size ranged from 1.5 to 12 mm in the widest diameter. Modified Mathieu’s flap procedure was used in the repair of 18 (56%) fistulae and 9 (28%) fistulae were by simple closure. Recurrence of the fistula was seen in 8 (25%) patients with large fistulae > 5 mm in diameter. The recurrent fistulae were small and were repaired by simple closure.
Conclusion: Urethrocutaneous fistula post‑circumcision is frequently seen in our practice and the surgical repair is challenging and associated with high recurrence rate in large fistulae. This preventable condition may be avoided by proper education and training of circumcisers.

Key words: Circumcision, complication, repair, urethrocutaneous fistula


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eISSN: 1119-3077