Urethral Stricture Disease Chattanooga, TN
What is urethral stricture disease?
It is a narrowing of the urethra caused by injury, inflammation or infection that results in scarring. But in many cases there is no known cause. It causes reduced urine flow and more frequent urination. Stricture can lead to urinary tract infections, prostatitis, urinary retention and kidney damage. Thus, this condition requires treatment. It affects both men and women, but is more common in men especially men aged 55 and up. The incidence of urethral stricture is estimated at 6% of the U.S. male population.
What causes urethral strictures?
Any trauma to the perineum or urethra that is significant enough to cause scarring can result in urethral strictures. Scarring can occur after urologic procedures as well. It can also be caused by sexually transmitted infections that cause urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) and lichen sclerosus (a rare skin disease that typically affects the genitals and anal areas producing small white spots on the skin and thinning of the skin that results in scarring). Lichen sclerosis may also be referred to as BXO or balanitis xerotica obliterans.
What are the symptoms of urethral stricture disease?
- Lower urinary tract symptoms like urinary frequency, urgency, poor urine stream, dribbling, incomplete voiding and blood in the urine
- Urinary tract infections
- Urinary retention
- Decreased for of ejaculation
How is urethral stricture disease diagnosed?
Your medical history will be evaluated, including evaluation of erectile function. You will receive a physical exam. Cystoscopy and urethrogram (X-Ray dye test) will be used to evaluate the location and length of the strictures. A quick and simple diagnostic screening test, called uroflowmetry or uroflow, will be used to evaluate urine flow. Other diagnostic tests include urinalysis and urine cultures.
What treatment is available for urethral stricture disease?
Generally, treatment is determined by the severity and length of the stricture.
- Urethral dilation. This procedure done under local or general anesthetic in an attempt to widen or open the urethral narrowing. However, the success of urethral dilation is temporary and of short duration in most men. For men with short, thin strictures this is still a good option.
- Internal urethrotomy offers a better chance to avoid reforming of the stricture. This procedure is performed with endoscopic visualization using a tiny knife to cut out the stricture while you are asleep. However, it is limited to short strictures and may require additional treatment with a repeat urethrotomy or urethroplasty. Median time to stricture recurrence is 7-12 months.
- Urethropasty is the gold standard treatment for urethral stricture disease. Here the scar is excised or bypassed and the urethra is reconstructed. The urethra is reconstructed with either healthy segments of urethral tissue or a graft of heathy tissue from another part of the body, usually the mouth. You are asleep during this procedure and an overnight stay in the hospital is routine. Stricture recurrence rate is less than 10% which makes this procedure the best and most cost-effective treatment option.
The UT Urology providers have the specific knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide compassionate patient care. They provide the region’s most comprehensive medical and surgical treatment for complex urological conditions. Our team is experienced in managing all types of urethral strictures and has excellent success treating the most difficult to manage strictures. We take the time to listen to your health issues and concerns. In Tennessee, Alabama and northern Georgia UT Urology is the right choice for your urologic health.
Contact Dr. Shrid Men’s Health & Microsurgery today or visit us in Chattanooga, TN to learn more about Urethral Stricture Disease.