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Partial urethral resection in the surgical treatment of vulvar cancer does not have a significant impact on urinary continence. A confirmation of an authority-based opinion
  1. Y De Mooij,
  2. M. P.M. Burger,
  3. M. S. Schilthuis,
  4. M. Buist and
  5. J. Van Der Velden
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jacobus van der Velden, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Medical Centre, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email: j.vandervelden{at}


Partial resection of the urethra is sometimes necessary in the surgical treatment of locally advanced vulvar cancer. In this study, the frequency of urinary incontinence after partial urethral resection was compared with that of patients who were treated without partial resection of the urethra. Eighteen patients with vulvar cancer encroaching or infiltrating the urethra, treated by a radical vulvectomy and partial urethrectomy, were compared with 17 patients treated by vulvectomy without partial removal of the urethra. Data on urinary incontinence pre- and postoperatively from both groups were retrospectively collected from the patient files. A questionnaire on urinary incontinence was sent to a subset of patients from both groups in order to get information on the current micturation pattern. In four out of 18 patients (22%) with a partial urethrectomy, incontinence was reported, versus two out of 17 patients (12%) in the control group (P= 0.860). Eight patients in the study group and 12 in the control group are currently alive, and all responded to the questionnaire. Two (25%) in the study group and three (25%) in the control group reported to have current symptoms of urinary incontinence. This retrospective study shows that partial resection of 1–1.5 cm of the distal urethra in addition to a radical local excision for vulvar cancer does not result in a significant increase in the frequency of urinary incontinence, compared with vulvar cancer patients without partial urethrectomy.

  • incontinence
  • urethral resection
  • vulvar neoplasm

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