The urethra is a thin tube which carries the urine from the bladder.
A urethral stricture is the narrowing of the urethral lumen.
Urethral strictures can result from:
- Injury after an accident
- Traumatic catheterization
- Surgical repair of congenital urethral anomalies
- Skin diseases, e.g. Lichen Sclerosus (rarely)
The diagnosis is established with:
- Urethroscopy: an endoscopic instrument is inserted through the urethra and helps in the direct viewing and detection of the stricture
- Ascending urethrography: under ultrasound-guidance, a contrast agent is infused into the urethra via a small catheter. The test results help in the detection of any urethral strictures.
- Uroflowmetry: it delivers a clear image of the urinary flow
Treatment differs according to the grade and length of the stricture.
The following treatment options are available:
- Urethral dilation
- Optical urethrotomy