Urethral stricture disease is a narrowing of the urethra. It generally affects only men, and is a fairly common issue. Men older than 55 are most at risk, and risk rises with age.
Dr. Paul Chung and his highly qualified staff are experienced in diagnosing and treating urethral stricture disease. We recognize that the symptoms can be debilitating and we are dedicated to helping you regain full function through effective treatment, designed to address your particular problem.
Why does urethral stricture happen?
Your urine travels a long way from your bladder to exit your body—your urethra is about 10-12 inches long. When you have an infection, surgery, or trauma to your urethra, scars can form. These scars impede the flow of urine.
In most cases, there’s no obvious cause for urethral stricture, so if you have symptoms but you haven’t broken your pelvis, had an infection, or any of the other possible causes, you’re not alone.
Posterior and anterior strictures
The first 1-2 inches of your urethra near your bladder is called the posterior urethra. When strictures happen in this area, it’s usually due to some kind of trauma like a car accident or an industrial accident.
Anterior urethral strictures happen in the remaining 9-10 inches of urethra. Numerous things can cause strictures in this part of your urethra, such as a straddle injury or having a catheter inserted.
A kink in the hose
Your urethra operates much like a hose. There’s a “shut-off” valve at the end connected to your bladder, and when it’s open urine flows through your urethra to the opening at the end of your penis.
Just as when there’s a blockage or kink in a garden hose that stops water from leaving the hose, if there’s a blockage in your urethra, urine can’t get through.
- Bloody or dark urine
- Blood in your semen
- Slow or low urine stream
- Spray when you urinate
- Pain when urinating
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Loss of bladder control
Treatments for urethral stricture disease
Once Dr. Chung diagnoses urethral stricture disease, he may want imaging tests or other diagnostics to determine exactly where your stricture is located. The location and size of the stricture helps him decide on the best treatment options.
Dilation is a common treatment, where Dr. Chung uses a local anesthetic and then specialized tools to stretch your urethra. Most of the time, this treatment needs to be repeated regularly in order to be effective because strictures can return.
Several types of surgical intervention can be appropriate for urethral strictures. The right one depends on the location of the stricture, the symptoms you’re having, and whether you’ve already tried more conservative treatments.
Working with a doctor who understands all of those factors and who has experience with reconstructive surgery is the best path to achieve outstanding results. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Chung today and find out what your options are.