FAQ Regarding Stricture
- What is the urethra?
The urethra is the opening that allows urine to leave the bladder. In men, the urethra is a thin tube like structure that starts from the lower opening of the bladder and traverses the entire length of the penis. In women, it is a shorter opening coming off the lower opening of bladder and is between 2.5 to 4 centimeters (cm) in length.
The urethra has a sphincter that is normally closed to keep urine inside the bladder. When bladder fills with urine, there are both voluntary and involuntary controls to open the urethral sphincter to allow urine to come out.
- What is urethral stricture?
Urethral stricture refers to any narrowing of the urethra for any reason whether or not it actually impacts the flow of urine out of the bladder.
Urethral stricture is significantly more common in men and boys compared to women and girls. This condition is considered rare in females.
- Is urethral stricture curable with medicinal treatment only?
- What are the causes of urethral stricture?
The following are common causes of scarring or narrowing of the urethra:
- Trauma from injury or accidents with damage to the urethra or bladder (for example, falling on a frame of a bicycle between the legs, or a car accident).
- Pelvic injury or trauma.
- Previous procedures involving the urethra (urinary catheters, surgeries, cystoscopy).
- Previous prostate surgery (TURP or transurethral resection of the prostate).
- Prostate enlargement.
- Cancer of the urethra (rare).
- Infections of the urethra (sexually transmitted diseases or STDs, urethritis, gonorrhea, chlamydia).
- Prostate infection or inflammation (prostatitis).
- Previous hypospadias surgery (a congenital birth defect in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of the tip).
- Congenital malformations of the urethra, which rarely can cause urethral stricture in children.
- Causes of urethral stricture are from medical procedures and manipulation of the urethra or nearby structures (surgeries, catheter insertion, etc).
- What are the symptoms of urethral stricture?
Symptoms of urethral stricture can range from no symptoms at all (asymptomatic),to mild discomfort,to complete urinary retention (inability to urinate)
Some of the possible symptoms and complications of urethral stricture include the following:
- Difficulty starting urine flow
- Painful urination (dysuria)
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Urinary retention
- Incomplete emptying of bladder
- Decreased urine stream
- Dribbling of urine
- Spraying or double streaming urine
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Blood in the semen
- Urinary incontinence
- Pelvic pain
- Discharge from the urethra
- Reduced ejaculation force
- What type of doctor treats urethral obstruction?
Most commonly, urethral strictures are managed by urologists, who are doctors with training and specialization in the urinary system.
- How is urethral stricture diagnosed?
Urinalysis (UA), urine culture, and urethral culture for sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, chlamydia) are some of the typical tests that may be ordered in this setting. Examination of the prostate and screening for prostate cancer (manual exam and measurement of prostate specific antigen or PSA) may also be done by the doctor.
Oftentimes, imaging and endoscopic studies are necessary to confirm the diagnosis and identify the cause of urethral strictures.
- Are there any special tests for diagnosing urethral stricture?
The following are some common imaging and endoscopic tests in evaluating urethral stricture:
- Ultrasound of the urethra
- Retrograde urethrogram
- Anterograde cystourethrogram
- What is the treatment for urethral stricture?
Treatment is usually advised to improve the flow rate of urine, to ease symptoms and to prevent possible complications. A specialist surgeon called a urologist advises on treatment. (A urologist treats problems of the urinary tract – such as conditions affecting the prostate, bladder, kidney and penis.) Treatment advised by your specialist will depend on factors such as the site and length of your stricture and also your age and general well-being.
- What surgical options are available for urethral stricture?
Many surgical procedures are available for treating urethral strictures. Depending on the cause and other medical and social aspects, the most appropriate procedure may be recommended for each individual case. The common procedures include:
- urethral dilation,
- urethral stent placement,
- open urethral reconstruction
WHY CHOOSE DR.BANGA
Efficient care. Dr. Banga and Team can move you quickly from diagnosis to recovery, often within a few days of your initial visit.
Expertise: Highly skilled urologist performs both minimally invasive and reconstructive surgical techniques to treat urethral stricture disease.
Dr.GautamBanga is expert in:
- Urethra and penile surgery
- Cosmetic urology
- Penile augmentation Surgeries (Phalloplasty)
- Male erectile and sexual problems
- Routine urology
Experience: Dr.Banga and teams are highly trained, often with additional specialty training to deal with complex urethral reconstructive procedures.
Dr. GautamBanga is an experienced urethral reconstructive surgeon having performed over 650 urethroplasties (Traumatic and other causes) and Hypospadias repair.