Treatment of Urethral Strictures
Birmingham Prostate Clinic’s urologists rank among the UK’s leading experts in the treatment of urethral strictures, carrying out well over 100 urethroplasties each year between them.
At BPC the high level of experience and expertise of our surgeons ensures we achieve the best results and minimal complications.
How to Treat Urethral Strictures
A urethral stricture is scarring that narrows the tube, that carries urine out of your body. There are multiple treatment options for a urethral stricture depending on the severity of the stricture, ranging from less invasive options to a full urethroplasty (surgery). Often your specialist will recommend trying the least invasive treatment option first before considering if further action is required. There are some natural options for treating a urethral stricture, but these have limited success and should only be followed with guidance from your clinician. The three core treatments your specialist is likely to recommend are; Dilation, Urethrotomy or Urethroplasty.
Dilation is the most common form of treatment for a stricture. This is undertaken under a local or general anaesthetic. Rods of increasing thickness are gently inserted to gradually widen (dilate) the stricture. The aim is to stretch and widen the stricture without causing additional scarring. However, a stricture can gradually narrow again after each dilation, so repeated procedures may be necessary. Generally, this procedure is most effective with the shorter strictures, but it is the least invasive option and is normally the first treatment option.
Urethrotomy involves passing a thin telescope into the urethra, under a general anaesthetic. A tiny knife is then passed down the telescope to cut along the stricture to widen the tube. About one in three cases are permanently treated, with the best results for shorter strictures. However, like dilation, the stricture may re-form and repeat procedures can be required.
Urethroplasty is an operation to correct a stricture if the first two options do not work. If the stricture is short, it can be cut out and the two ends of the healthy urethra stitched back together. If the stricture is longer, an operation can be undertaken to graft the inner lining of the urethra. The graft is usually made from the tissue on the inside of your cheek to form the new section of the urethra. This approach offers very good long term results, but is a complex procedure and surgical experience is very important.