Ask Laura: what are the chances of success for Perineal Urethrostomy surgery?

Another excellent question on the topic of perineal urethrostomy (aka PU) that came up in the comments:

Question from Jo:

I cannot believe how cheap surgery is in America in comparison with Britain!

Our boy was run over in February and had a hole in his urethra. He had a number of weeks treatment before this was discovered and was in a very bad way but a catheter was put in for 10 days and the hole healed.

Unfortunately it seems that the scar tissue has now caused a stricture and he will probably need to have a PU. He has also recently started to leak urine - about 10 days after coming home. The treatment so far has cost us over £3000 and we have been told that the surgery is likely to be a lot more expensive than that. Our £2500 insurance is pathetic with this in mind! we are looking into ways of finding cheaper surgery but have had no luck so far.

He is only 10 months old and so gorgeous that we will find the money somehow, but it wil l be a struggle. So, think yourselves lucky America!

Does anyone know what the chances of success are? We have been told about 50% full recovery, 25% long term problems but survivable and 25% chance of needing to be put to sleep at the end of it all.

Answer from Dr. Riggs, Best Friends Veterinary Hospital Powell, Ohio



If the stricture is down far enough the surgery should be more then 50% successful because you are removing the obstructive area. The only problem that I would see is if the stricture in in the pelvic part of the urethra, where it would not be able to be gotten to surgically.

I would ask your Vet to see where the stricture is and see if they think they can fix it. I would ask how many of these surgeries they have done and if they are confident with the surgery. You vet should be able to tell you what kind of prognosis he will have.

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