Treatment of Urethral Strictures
Birmingham Prostate Clinic consultant urologist Mr Paul Anderson is one of the UK’s leading experts in the treatment of urethral strictures, carrying out in excess of 100 urethroplasties each year. This is the highest total number of urethroplasties to be undertaken by a single surgeon in the UK.
At BPC, we emphasise how the experience of the individual surgeon and undertaking a high volume of cases is extremely important in terms of achieving the best results and minimal complications.
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. Our specialist in the treatment of urethral strictures, Mr Paul Anderson undertakes over 100 urethroplasties a year and receives referrals from throughout the UK and Ireland for this complex surgical work.