Table of Contents
Definition of Urethral Stricture
Urethral stricture may be congenital (present at birth) or acquired such as through scarring resulting from repeated URETHRITIS, BLADDER CATHETERIZATION, and other irritations to the urethra. BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA (BPH) and PROSTATITIS also can cause urethral stricture in men.
Symptoms of urethral stricture include
- straining when urinating
- the sensation that the bladder does not empty with URINATION (URINARY RETENTION)
- diminished urine flow
- frequent URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI)
Diagnosis and Treatment
The diagnostic path begins with urinalysis to determine whether INFECTION is present. Further diagnostic procedures may include CYSTOSCOPY to examine the urethra and bladder, INTRAVENOUS PYELOGRAM (IVP) to assess the flow of BLOOD and urine through the urinary system, or computed tomography (CT) scan or ultrasound to visualize the structures of the lower pelvis.
Treatment targets the identified cause and may include ANTIBIOTIC MEDICATIONS when infection is present in addition to other therapies. Such therapies often include cystoscopic surgery to cut away SCAR tissue within the urethra or open surgery (urethroplasty) to reconstruct a badly scarred or damaged urethra.
These methods permanently restore the flow of urine through the urethra and have minimal complications or risks.
See also UROLITHIASIS.