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Urethral Stricture & Urethral Dilatation

Urethral stricture is a narrowing of the urethra—the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body when we urinate. This thin tube also has a critical role in ejaculation for men. When a scar from swelling, injury, or infection blocks or slows the flow of urine in this tube, it is called a urethral stricture. It is a treatable condition.

Urethral dilation is one of the most common treatment options for urethral strictures performed at Colin Teo Urology.

Causes of Urethral Stricture

Urethral strictures are more common in men because of their longer urethra. Strictures can happen at any point from the bladder to the tip of the penis. Some common causes are:

  • trauma to the urethra, such as an injury from a fall onto the scrotum or perineum
  • infection such as a sexually transmitted disease
  • prostate surgery
  • kidney stone removal
  • urinary catheterisation
  • damage from surgical tools

Urethral Stricture Symptoms

Symptoms of urethral stricture include:

  • bloody or dark urine
  • blood in semen
  • straining to urinate
  • poor urine flow
  • pain during urination
  • urine tract infection (UTI)
  • urine leaking
  • urine retention
  • abdominal pain
  • swelling of the penis
  • prostatitis

If left untreated, you will continue to have problems with urination. Urinary and testicular infections and stones can develop. The increased urinary retention can also lead to an enlarged bladder and kidney problems.

Urethral Stricture Diagnosis

Non-invasive tests may identify issues emptying the bladder but cannot definitively identify a stricture. Such tests include a uroflowmetry and the measurement of residual volume.

If a urethral stricture is suspected, a cystoscopy (to see inside the urethra and bladder) and a urethrogram (a special imaging procedure) will be ordered.

Urethral Stricture Treatment Options

Depending on the size of the blockage and how much scar tissue is involved, treatments include:

  • Urethral Dilatation involves enlarging the stricture with gradual stretching. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, where the stricture is stretched using larger and larger dilators called "sounds." A special balloon on a catheter can also stretch the tissue. This stretching is not a cure and needs to be repeated regularly. Urethral dilation is one of the most common procedures performed at Colin Teo Urology.
  • Urethrotomy involves cutting the stricture with a laser or knife through a scope, creating a gap. A catheter may be placed into the urethra to hold the gap open and let it heal.
  • If dilatation or urethrotomy fails, and the stricture recurs, then a formal surgical reconnection & reconstruction is advised. The two main types of open surgeries are anastomotic urethroplasty and substitution urethroplasty.

Why should you choose Dr Colin Teo to perform Urethral Stricture treatments?

Dr Colin Teo is the Founding Head of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s Urology Department, with years of experience in minimally invasive keyhole surgery, operating with precision surgical techniques. Many fellows have trained under his mentorship. He did a Fellowship in EndoLaparoscopy and Andrology at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, UK and was sponsored for a Senior Healthcare Medical Development Program (HMDP) in Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery at University of Southern California (USC) Keck Hospital in Los Angeles, USA.

Dr Teo is also the President of the Society for Men’s Health. He performs urethral stricture treatments and provides attentive and personal peri-operative care with his dedicated clinical team to ensure an optimal recovery outcome for his patients.

If you have enquiries about the urethral stricture condition or want to find out more about urethral dilatation and urethrotomy procedures, drop us a note. We will be happy to offer our professional advice. Contact us to book a consultation with Colin Teo Urology today.