Urethral stricture: An Overview
The narrowing down of urethra, the tube via which urine passes from the kidneys to the bladder, is known as urethral stricture. Formation of scar tissue inside a specific segment of the urethra causes the stricture.
An individual with urethral stricture will experience difficulty urinating, and the urine will fill up the urinary tract. Consistent deposition of urine in the urinary tract could eventually cause kidney malfunction and damage. The condition predominates in males as they have a longer urethra than females, rendering the former more vulnerable to stricture compared to latter.
Urethral Stricture Symptoms
We always advise individuals with urethral stricture to opt for treatment as early as possible to prevent kidney infection and formation of kidney stones. The urinary bladder could expand and stop functioning in due course if and when urinary retention becomes chronic. We tell patients to watch out for the following symptoms of urethral stricture:-
- Urgent urination (a strong urge to urinate frequently)
- The feeling of bladder fullness
- Taking a long time to urinate
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Experiencing pain during urination
- Straining to urinate
- Urine emerging in a thin stream
- Distension of the adjacent organs including the penis
Causes of Urethral Stricture
More often than not, the condition tends to be idiopathic, i.e. the exact cause behind urethral stricture remains unknown. However, a few risk factors are alleged to be linked to the stricture. An individual could be at risk of developing urethral stricture if he has/had:-
- STD (sexually transmitted disease)
- Undergone radiotherapy for BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia)
- Been operated upon for a prostate or bladder problem
- Used catheter
- Prostrate brachytherapy (radiation therapy for prostate cancer)
- Suffered a trauma due to injury in the area surrounding the scrotum
To confirm whether someone has a urethral stricture, we perform a physical test, enquire about medical history, and symptoms. Furthermore, we suggest patients opt for one or more of the following tests for ascertaining the exact location, extent, and cause of the stricture:-
- Urinary flow assay
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Urethral ultrasound
Conducting a Cystoscopy enables us to confirm a diagnosis. We insert a cystoscope inside (a tubular device carrying a small camera) into the urethra to scan its entire span. The camera lens helps us to locate the stricture as well as the level of constriction or narrowness.
After that we study X-rays (Retrograde urethrogram) to identify the length of the stricture.
We place a urethral stent or perform urethroplasty following confirmation of the presence of urethral stricture. We conduct urethroplasty for the sake of restoring the urethra to its original shape or form. The procedure entails eliminating the stricture, and grafting tissue from the patient’s body and positioning it in the urethra for widening it.
In some cases, we place a stent within the narrowed section of the urethra to keep it wide enough for urine to pass through smoothly.
We always recommend individuals diagnosed with urethral stricture to seek medical intervention. We counsel patients on different surgical procedures.
Our Urologists advise patients who’ve undergone surgery for urethral stricture to remain in touch. The stricture could recur even after successful surgery, and hence, it is important to regularly consult our urologists in NYC for monitoring symptoms.
Our exceptionally qualified urologists at Fifth Avenue Urology have been and continue to deliver superlative urological services. Dr. Michael Brodherson, M.D. is a veteran, specializing in gynecological operative procedures and complicated surgeries. He has amassed many years of experience performing open urological operations.
Dr. Larish is a surgeon and urologist with wide-ranging experience in the treatment of adrenal, kidney, bladder, and prostate cancers, and infertility. Dr. Glickman is adept in carrying out minimally invasive surgeries for various urological issues. In this blog, we shed light on urethral strictures.
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