You have had an operation to repair a narrow place in your urethra called a urethral stricture. Following these guidelines will help you heal faster and feel better at home.
Beginning the day you return home, you may climb stairs and move about your home for meals, to go to the bathroom or to watch television. The most important thing one can do to minimize swelling and post-operative discomfort is to avoid standing except for brief periods for the first 5 post-operative days. This is to maximize the success of graft “take” and minimize the possibility that further surgical procedures will be needed in the future. A padded ice bag applied to the surgical area may be helpful for the first 24 hours. After that it usually provides little benefit. After 5 days, one can slowly increase activity as long as the post-operative discomfort is decreasing. Remember, even though we place local anaesthetic during surgery and pain medications are prescribed for the post-operative period, post-operative pain is normal. Swelling and bruising are normal following this procedure and resolve without intervention in about 2 weeks. Incisions in the area under the scrotum are unique in that they often produce a sensation of strange numbness. That is normal and will resolve spontaneously over a few months.
Your incision is covered by either Dermabond glue or Steri-Strip tapes. They support the skin closure, but be assured that an absorbable suture line just under the skin is actually holding the incision together. Dermabond glue or Steri-Strips usually peel off spontaneously after two weeks.
You may shower beginning the second day you are home, but do not take tub baths for three weeks. Pat dry your surgical incision after you shower. The Steri-Strip tapes across your incision should remain on for at least one week. They support the skin closure, but, be assured that an absorbable suture line just under the skin is actually holding the incision together. Steri-Strips usually come off spontaneously after two weeks. If you do not have Steri-Strips it means that Dermabond glue was used as the surgical dressing. This will come off spontaneously without intervention.
Do not begin purposeful exercise until after the catheter is removed 3 weeks after surgery. Urethral catheters must remain in for 3 full weeks after urethroplasty! Some people may require as much as two additional weeks even though they are having a “normal” post-operative recovery. Your urine may periodically turn pink or bloody. This is normal, and will resolve once the catheter is removed.
Many urethral stricture repairs require the harvest of tissue from the inside of the mouth for use as a donor graft. This area can be kept clean by normal oral hygiene. The site acts like a very large canker sore. Most discomfort usually resolves in one week and is near normal in three weeks. Occasionally there is spotty lip numbness that usually resolves spontaneously. Most people avoid sour food and drink while the donor site is healing. This site almost never becomes infected.
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