Urethral Stricture Urologist - Dr. Angelo Gousse, MD
When urine leaves your bladder and comes out of your body, it flows through a tube called the urethra. If this tube were ever to get damaged or scarred, it would cause you to develop a disease called urethral stricture.
Urethral stricture means that you have scar tissue developing on your urethra. It will become more difficult to urinate if you have too much scar tissue there. The possible causes of urethral stricture could include a urinary tract infection, a sexually transmitted disease, or a recent surgery on your urinary system.Men are more likely to get urethral stricture because they have a longer urethra. However, there are some cases where women can develop urethra stricture. Regardless, you’ll know if you have urethral stricture because the symptoms will be more than apparent.
The most common symptoms of urethral strictures include blood in the urine, difficulty urinating, painful urination, slow urine flow, and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Testing and Treatment
Your urologist can test you for urethral stricture with cystoscopy and X-ray examinations. The cystoscopy is the most detailed examination because the urologist will place a camera into your urethra to see it up close. As a result, it will give them a clear indication as to whether you have urethral strictures or not.
If you receive a urethral stricture diagnosis, the next step is to review your treatment options. The two most common treatments for urethral strictures include the following:
Urethral dilation is where the urologist cuts or stretches the scar tissue on the urethra to allow urine to flow more easily. Anesthesia will be administered before the procedure to reduce pain and discomfort for the patient.
Your urologist will recommend urethral dilations before urethroplasty. It is a far less intrusive outpatient procedure with minimal downtime. People with mild urethral strictures are better off trying urethral dilations first.
Urethroplasty is a more sophisticated surgical procedure where the urologist makes a small incision to remove the scar tissue from the urethra. After that, the urologist repairs the urethra so that it can go back to functioning normally.
Your urologist can recommend urethroplasty if your urethral strictures continue to return after they get treated. Basically, it is the next step up in treatment if a urethral dilation doesn’t work out well in treating the problem.
A urethroplasty will only require you to stay in the hospital one night. After that, your urethral stricture problem should be gone. Patients have an 85% to 95% success rate on average from the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I treat my urethral strictures with several urethral dilations?
Urethral dilations are better for short-term success and less complex urethral strictures. Studies show that urethral dilations have a mild 30% success rate, which is low compared to the 85% to 92% success rate of urethroplasty.
Is there an alternative treatment available to avoid getting surgery?
Scar tissue growth on the urethra can only get removed with surgery. You won’t find any prescription medications or therapeutic injections that can treat this particular problem.
Therefore, we advise you to request a urologic examination at the nearest urology office as soon as possible. Your surgery won’t be as long and extensive if you can catch the problem quickly. That is why getting tested early is essential for reducing the risk and complexity of the surgery.
Do you want to get examined and tested for urethral strictures? Contact the offices of Gousse Urology by calling (954) 362-2720 and making your appointment today.