August 19th, 2015
The tube that carries urine out of the body from the urinary bladder is called as urethra. Any abnormal narrowing of this tube is called as urethral stricture. Although it can be found both in males and females, the condition somehow has a predilection for males.
The common causes for the development of urethral stricture in males are:
Some of the common symptoms seen in men suffering from urethral strictures include:
Based on the patient’s medical history and physical examination, the doctor may suspect urethral strictures. However, to confirm the diagnosis, several tests are performed. These include:
The most basic treatment for urethral strictures in men comprises of using dilators. This is an outpatient procedure wherein dilators of increasing diameter are successively introduced into the urethra. As they pass through the urethra, these dilators gradually increase its width. In some cases, an indwelling catheter is left in the urethra. However, this is generally not preferred as it increases the chances of urinary tract infections.
If dilators are not very successful in breaking the strictures, a surgery called as urethroplasty is performed. The area in which the strictures are present is surgically removed and the urethra is reconstructed.
If urethroplasty also fails to relieve the strictures, the urine flow is diverted as a last resort. In this procedure, a catheter may be introduced into the bladder and the urine is drained through the abdomen.
The condition is usually resolved with the abovementioned methods. However, sometimes there may be a need to repeat the treatment because of development of scar tissue.
Sudden acute urinary retention is the most serious complication of urethral strictures. It is an emergency situation that needs to be dealt on an urgent basis.
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