(HealthDay News) — A total of 1367 male US service members deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom sustained genitourinary injury, according to a study published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

Judson C Janak, PhD, from the US Army Institute of Surgical Research in in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and colleagues conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study to examine the number, nature, and severity of genitourinary injuries among male US service members who were deployed to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

The researchers found that 1367 male US service members sustained one or more genitourinary injuries from October 2001 to August 2013. Most injuries involved the external genitalia (73.2%), including the scrotum, testes, penis, and/or urethra (55.6%, 33.0%, 31.0%, and 9.1%, respectively). At least one severe genitourinary injury was sustained by more than one-third (36.7%) of service members with genitourinary injury. 146 men had loss of one or both testes, including 129 unilateral orchiectomies and 17 bilateral orchiectomies. Traumatic brain injury, pelvic fracture, colorectal injury, and low extremity amputation were common comorbid injuries (40.2%, 25.0%, 21.7%, and 28.7%, respectively).

“Deployment-related genitourinary trauma is a uniquely devastating injury that has become increasingly common during the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” lead investigator Lieutenant Colonel Steven J Hudak, MD, of the Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, said in a journal news release.

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  1. Janak JC, Orman JA, Soderdahl DW, Hudak SJ. Epidemiology of Genitourinary Injuries among Male US Service Members Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan: Early Findings from the Trauma Outcomes and Urogenital Health (TOUGH) Project. J Urol. 6 August 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.08.005.