Procedure Name Urethral Stricture Dilation
Surgery Type Minimally Invasive
Hospital Stay Nil (Outpatient procedure)
Duration of Surgery 10 to 15 minutes
Type of Anaesthesia Local Anesthesia/ General Anesthesia
Full Recovery 1 to 2 days
Urethral stricture dilation is the process of dilating the lumen of the urethra that has narrowed due to strictures and scars. The urethra is a thin, tubular structure that carries urine out of the body. In men, it serves the additional purpose of carrying semen. Injuries to the genital area, repeated infections, medical tests, and procedures done on the genitals contribute to the development of scar tissue inside the urethra, ultimately leading to stricture formation and narrowing of the urethra.
This leads to symptoms like a decrease in the flow of urine, pain while urinating, blood in the urine and semen, urethral leaking, loss of bladder control, etc. A long-standing urethral stricture ends up damaging your kidneys permanently. Urethral stricture dilation is a process that helps to widen the urethral lumen. It is an outpatient procedure performed at the urologist’s office under local anesthesia.
The urethra is a thin tube that carries urine out of the body. When the lumen of the urethra gets damaged due to different reasons, strictures are formed. These strictures cause difficulty in voiding the urine fully. Symptoms like pain while urinating, bloody urine, loss of bladder control, and urethral leaking are also seen.
If urethral strictures are not treated at the right time, they can cause permanent damage to your kidneys. Urethral stricture dilation is a procedure that aims to dilate the urethra so that urine can flow freely. This dilation is done under local anesthesia.
The surgeon makes use of metal or rubber instruments that are inserted into the urethra to widen it. Recent advancements in medical technology advocate using a balloon catheter for the dilation process. Balloon catheters cause less damage to the tissues and feel more comfortable to the patient.
Urethral strictures tend to recur. Hence, the procedure must be repeated as and when the strictures come up. You may also be taught the technique and given the instruments at home to do the procedure yourself. Urethral strictures are more common in men than women, as women have short urethra as compared to women.
Men are more prone to suffer from urethral strictures than women due to their longer urethra. Urethral strictures are rarely seen in women and infants. A urethral stricture will be recommended to you in the following scenarios:
Urethral stricture dilation aims to widen the urethra to facilitate the free flow of urine. Here is a quick guide to help you prepare for the procedure.
Urethral stricture dilation is an outpatient procedure that is performed in the urologist’s office. The procedure takes only a few minutes. The procedure for urethral stricture dilation remains the same in men and women. Here is what will happen during the procedure.
Urethral stricture dilation takes about 5 to 10 minutes to get completed. Once the procedure is done, you can go home immediately. Your doctor will give you a list of things to expect while you recover at home.
The urethral stricture dilation procedure has a few complications. Your doctor will explain and prepare you to deal with these.
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Urethral stricture dilation is highly successful in resolving the symptoms. But the effects do not last long. You need a repeat procedure frequently.
Once the procedure is done, you can go home immediately. You will have the following symptoms for a few days:
Urethral stricture dilation is contraindicated when the stricture is very severe. People with a bleeding diathesis and those with an active urinary or genital infection are not the right candidates for this procedure.
Self-dilation of the urethra is a safe procedure. It involves the use of dilation tubes, lubricants, and anesthetic ointment. You will be demonstrated and taught the procedure well before you attempt it at home.
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