The urethra is a tube in the human body that expels urine out of the body. Sometimes, the urethra becomes narrow, causing discomfort for men during urination. This condition is called a urethral stricture, and in some cases, urethral strictures might require immediate surgery.
The urethra carries urine from the bladder through the penis, and is eventually expelled out of the urethral meatus during urination. If there is urethral stricture, there will be discomfort during urination along with a slow urination stream. The condition can either develop gradually, or show up without any indication.
A urologist in Pune can diagnose and effectively treat this condition, relieving pain and discomfort. Are you experiencing any pain while urinating? Read ahead to know more about urethral stricture before you book a doctor online appointment.
Causes of Urethral Stricture
Urethral stricture is mostly caused by chronic inflammation or some injury. A urologist in Pune can identify urethral stricture by scar tissue. Scar tissue can form by:
- Any injury to the penis or scrotum, or a straddle injury
- Any kind of infection caused by a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia
- Infections caused due to insertion of catheters or other instruments into the urethra
This scar tissue narrows the urethra, making it hard to pass urine. In some cases, the injury or inflammation happens before urethral stricture actually becomes detectable. In other cases, the structure develops immediately after any injury.
Other causes of urethral stricture or pelvic clogs are:
- Pelvic fractures
- Radiation therapy
- Surgeries performed on the prostate
- Any tumor located close to the urethra
Symptoms of Urethral Stricture
Before you book doctor online consultation, it is important to know which symptoms of urethral stricture to watch out for. Some common symptoms are:
- Any kind of strain during urination
- Painful urination
- Prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate
- Urinary tract infection
- Frequent urge to urination
- Incomplete bladder feeling, even after urination
- Urinary incontinence
- Swelling and penile pain
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Dark urine
If patients have acute urethral stricture, they might be unable to urinate at all. This is known as urinary retention, and is classified as a medical emergency. If the bladder is unable to drain urine effectively, the urine might get backed up into the kidneys, causing renal failure.
Diagnosis of Urethral Stricture
There are some non-invasive tests that can identify problems with the bladder, but this does not explicitly identify a stricture. The rate of urine flow can be measured by urinating in a collection device. Any residual urine left in the bladder can now be identified by an ultrasound scan.
For healthy adults, the bladder is empty after urination, but with a stricture, urine stays in the bladder.
If a non-invasive test is done, it is not possible to identify if the problem is due to a stricture, or other causes like a weakened bladder or an enlarged prostate.
If the urologist in Pune or other city suspects a urethral stricture, an imaging procedure is prescribed. There are some methods of this:
- Retrograde urethrogram: The retrograde urethrogram is an x-ray procedure in which a contrast agent is squirted into the penis opening. The contract agent then shows up on the x-ray film, and helps locate the structure. The urologist might ask the patient to urinate once the bladder is full, so that the urethral stricture can be identified during the emptying out process.
- Cystoscopy: This is another procedure that is used to identify a urethral stricture. In this case, a small camera called a cystoscope is inserted into the penis. This procedure is usually done in the doctor’s chamber, and takes five to ten minutes. To make the process less painful, the urologist inserts lidocaine jelly, which is a numbing medicine into the urethra. This allows the cystoscope to pass into the bladder easily.
Urethral stricture treatments to know before you book doctor online appointment
It is important to know the treatment options available before booking a consultation with a urologist. The treatment for urethral strictures depends on the severity of the condition. Treatment can be nonsurgical or surgical.
Nonsurgical treatment is basically an outpatient procedure. Some of these methods are:
- The urethra is made wider using a medical instrument known as a dilator. The dilator is a small wire that is passed through the urethra into the bladder, dilating it. Larger dilators will slowly increase the width of the urethra.
- Placement of a permanent urinary catheter is another nonsurgical method. This procedure is usually done as a last resort, and comes with risks like urinary tract infections or bladder irritation.
Surgical treatment by a Urologist in Pune
Urethroplasty is a surgical option to treat urethral strictures. This is a procedure in which the affected tissue is removed and the urethra is reconstructed. A urethroplasty is only opted for in the case of severe strictures. Book doctor online and discuss your condition in detail before opting for surgery.
Urine Flow Diversion
A urine flow diversion is the only way out in case of critical cases of urethral strictures. In this procedure, the flow of urine is completely and permanently diverted, to an opening in the abdomen. The urologist uses a part of the intestines to connect the ureters to the abdominal opening. A urine flow diversion is used only if the bladder is damaged, or needs to be removed.
It is not always possible to avoid a urethral stricture. Injuries and accidents to the penis or prostate can happen at any time. In case you find any sort of difficulty while urinating, it is important to get a diagnosis from a urologist in Pune or any other city. After treatment, most people have a positive outcome. This condition is absolutely treatable.