What is a Urethral Stricture?
Signs & Symptoms
There may not be any symptoms initially. However, the following symptoms – which are likely to worsen with time – may occur:
- Reduced urine flow is the usual first symptom.
- Straining to pass urine or pain.
- Spraying of urine or a double stream may occur.
- Dribbling of urine after going to the toilet to pass urine.
- Needing to pass urine more often than normal.
- Reduced force of ejaculation.
Diagnosis & Treatment
Initial diagnostic testing
Advanced diagnostic testing
Treatment is usually advised to improve the flow rate of urine, to ease symptoms and to prevent possible complications. Treatment options include the following:
- Widening (dilatation) of the stricture. This is usually done by passing a thin plastic rod (boogie) into the urethra. This procedure may be done either under a local or a general anaesthetic.
- Urethrotomy: A thin telescope is passed into the urethra to see exactly where the stricture is. This is done during a general anaesthetic. A tiny knife is then passed down the telescope to cut along the stricture. This widens the narrowed stricture. You will get relief of symptoms from this procedure. About half of people are cured for good by this procedure. However, the stricture may re-form and the procedure may have to be repeated from time to time in some cases.
- Surgery: A corrective operation which is called a urethroplasty is performed if a urethrotomy does not work. As a rule, there is a high success rate in curing symptoms with these operations.
- Antibiotics: A long course of antibiotics may be advised to prevent urine infections until a stricture has been widened.