Is Something Blocking Your Urine Stream?
More common in men than women, urethral stricture blocks urine flow and can cause many problems if not treated.
What is Urethral Stricture?
A urethral stricture is a scar that forms in the lining of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder).
What are the symptoms of Urethral Stricture?
You may experience the following symptoms:
- Trouble starting your stream
- Weak or split stream
- Intermittent urine flow
- Burning with urination
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Recurrent urinary tract infections or penile pain
What causes Urethral Stricture?
Urethral strictures (or scarring) forms from prior urethral, bladder, or prostatic procedures, trauma, chronic inflammation, prior radiation therapy or no known cause.
How is Urethral Stricture diagnosed?
What to know before your visit to MidLantic Urology in Philadelphia and surrounding counties.
- During your visit, your doctor will ask you questions regarding your medical history and will perform an exam with focused attention to the abdomen and genitalia.
- Information regarding prior procedures on the urethra, bladder or prostate are important.
Tests that may be performed during or after your visit:
- Urinalysis: This test evaluates for any blood in the urine or infection.
- Post-void residual: The physician will often ask you to void and then check to make sure you are emptying your bladder.
- Uroflow test: The physician will ask you to void in a white funnel to measure the strength of your urine stream.
- Cystoscopy: This is a procedure performed in the office where the physician inserts a small scope into the urethra. If you’re a man, the opening is at the end of your penis. If you’re a woman, it’s just above your vagina.
- Retrograde urethrogram: During this test for men, a small tube is inserted into the tip of the penis and contrast dye is instilled into the urethra. X-rays are then performed to take a picture of the degree and length of the stricture. Afterwards you may be asked to urinate while additional x-rays are taken.
How is Urethral Stricture treated?
- Urethral dilation: This can be performed either in the office or an operating room. This is a minimally invasive procedure where the scar tissue is moved out of the way by stretching the urethra.
- Incision of urethral stricture: This is performed in the operating room and is a minimally invasive procedure where the scar tissue is incised by an instrument inserted through a cystoscope.
- Urethroplasty: This is a surgical procedure typically performed by a fellowship-trained reconstructive surgeon involving surgical removal of the scar tissue and reconstruction of the urethra. It is possible tissue from the inside of the mouth will be needed to help in repairing the urethra. These surgeries have the highest rate of long-term success.