6 Potential Causes of Urethral Strictures

6 Potential Causes of Urethral Strictures

A urethral stricture is scar tissue inside your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the tip of your penis so it can exit your body. Strictures can occur anywhere along the urethra. 

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dr. Paul Chung treats urethral stricture disease and offers approaches that allow you to fully heal and move on with your life, rather than needing to have repeat procedures throughout your lifetime. As a highly trained reconstructive urologist, Dr. Chung has the knowledge and experience to evaluate your situation, suggest an appropriate course of action, and deliver the care you need. 

Causes of urethral strictures

In this post, we talk about six potential causes of urethral strictures, but it’s important to note that around 30% of strictures are idiopathic—that is, no known cause is ever discovered. So if you have a stricture, but none of the things discussed in this post applies to you, you’re not alone. 

Following are six of the most common causes of scarring in the urethra. 

1. Catheterization

If you’ve needed a catheter for an extended period, or you’ve needed one multiple times, your chances of developing a urethral stricture are increased. 

2. Trauma

A straddle injury, blunt trauma to your genitals, or other traumatic injuries can cause scarring in your urethra. The trauma may even be something relatively minor that happened in your distant past. 

3. Pelvic fracture

Breaking the bones of your pelvis is not an unusual reason for a stricture to develop. In some instances a pelvic fracture can lead to a urethral rupture, which in turn, leads to a stricture. 

4. Treatment for prostate cancer

Radiation treatment is harsh, and it can cause scarring in your urethra. Having your prostate removed, too, can result in a stricture. 

5. Infection

If you have chronic urinary tract infections, or you contract a sexually transmitted infection, you have a higher risk of developing a urethral stricture. 

6. Urological surgery

Having surgery that involves your urethra makes it more likely you’ll develop a stricture. One of the most common surgical procedures that leads to scarring is correcting hypospadias, which is when the opening of your urethra isn’t at the tip of your penis. Hypospadias is a birth defect that can usually only be corrected with surgery. 

Treating urethral strictures

Different treatments are available, including urethral dilation, urethrotomy, or urethroplasty. Both urethral dilation and urethrotomy are minimally invasive procedures, but typically both need to be repeated periodically throughout your life because the stricture reforms. 

Dr. Chung frequently recommends urethroplasty to patients as it removes the stricture completely. Dr. Chung removes the scarred section of your urethra, then reconstructs the disrupted tissue. Once you heal, the stricture is gone, and you can return to your normal life—without the painful and sometimes embarrassing symptoms caused by a urethral stricture. 

Call the office location most convenient for you today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Chung to find out what your treatment options are. Don’t allow a urethral stricture to degrade your quality of life or endanger your health any longer. 

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