To retrospectively evaluate the outcomes of immediate artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) reactivation in patients after urethral cuff replacement. It is common practice to delay reactivation of an AUS for four to six weeks following surgery to replace a failed urethral cuff. This is due to concerns about local tissue edema risking obstruction and concerns for urethral erosion. Despite these concerns, there are no published data to support this practice.
Retrospective chart review of single surgeon procedures performed from 2005-2020. Patients with urethral cuff replacement for recurrent stress incontinence due to compression or mechanical failure were included.
Thirty-four patients were identified who had immediate reactivation of the AUS following urethral cuff exchange. Thirty of these patients (88.2%) had radical prostatectomy and five patients also underwent further radiation therapy (14.7%). At 6 months follow-up, there was no reported events of erosion. Likewise, 32/34 (94%) of patients had no complications and reported expected urinary function of the AUS. Urinary retention was not observed. One patient required further re-exploration for a complication within his AUS system (2.9%), and another was ultimately unsatisfied with their unchanged baseline continence despite a fully functioning AUS (2.9%).
In this series, we observe that immediate reactivation of the AUS after urethral cuff exchange is a safe and reasonable management approach. Limitations of this analysis include a single institution, retrospective study. However, early AUS reactivation after device revision has not been reported in the literature and warrants further investigation given the impact on patient quality of life.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.