OBJECTIVES: Since the resurgence in the use of buccal mucosa (BM) in substitution urethroplasty in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there has been controversy as to which surgical technique is the most appropriate for its application.\ud \ud METHODS: The authors performed an updated literature review. Several centres have published widely on this topic, and the points considered include the use BM in dorsal onlay grafts, ventral onlay grafts, and tubularised grafts and the role of two-stage procedures.\ud \ud RESULTS: In experienced hands, the outcomes of both dorsal onlay grafts and ventral onlay grafts in bulbar urethroplasty are similar. The dorsal onlay technique is, however, possibly less dependent on surgical expertise and therefore more suitable for surgeons new to the practice of urethroplasty. The complications associated with ventral onlay techniques can be minimised by meticulous surgical technique, but in series with longer follow-up, complications still tend to be more prevalent. In penile urethroplasty, two-stage dorsal onlay of BM (after complete excision of the scarred urethra) still provides the best results, although in certain circumstances a one-stage dorsal onlay procedure is possible. In general, ventral onlay of BM and tube graft procedures in the management of penile strictures are associated with much higher rates of recurrence and should therefore be avoided.\ud \ud CONCLUSIONS: In experienced hands the results of the ventral and dorsal onlay of BM for bulbar urethroplasty are equivalent. Two-stage procedures are preferable in the penile urethra, except under certain circumstances when a one-stage dorsal onlay is feasible
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