WHAT IS URETHRAL STRICTURE
The Urethra in a human body is a tube which is meant to carry the urine from the bladder and to excrete outside the body. Urethral stricture is a condition of urethra in which urethral tube narrows and obstructs the flow of urine out of the bladder. This is commonly seen in Males and rare in females.Reduced urine flow is the usual first symptom associated with dribbling of urine for a while after going to the toilet to pass urine.
This reduced flow of urine leads to complications like :
- pain while urinating
- dribbling of urine
- frequent urination
SYMPTOMS OF URETHRAL STRICTURE
- Poor urinary system
- Retention or inability to pass urine
- Passing urine in drops or passing urine with very thin stream
- Require more than usual time to pass urine
- Sudden urge to pass urine
- Sense of incomplete emptying of bladder
- Recurrent urinary infection
- Have to go frequently to pass urine
- Pus discharge from urethral meatus
- Swelling and infection in prostate
- Rarely flank pain while urinating
Urethral stricture is significantly more common in men. In fact, urethral stricture is rare in women.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF URETHRAL STRICTURE
In most cases, no cause can be found. Possible causes include trauma or injury to the urethra, pelvic fracture, infection, etc. Leading causing factors of stricture urethra are:
- Infection in urinary tract
- Catheter induced infection
- Straddle injury to urethra or trauma
- Pelvic bone fracture posterior urethral disruption defects(PFUDD) due to trauma
- Any previous endoscopic surgery done through urethra
- Previously operated Hypospadias
The Urologist defines stricture urethra after evaluating certain investigations including:
- Retrograde urethrogram-RGU is the most important diagnostic tool to define the length of stricture
- Micturating Cystourethrogram- MCU
- Urine examination to check on infection
- Ultrasound KUB
- Uroflowmetry to measure the urine flow
- Cystoscopy to check inside urethra
- MRI pelvis & Perineal region
TREATMENT options for Stricture Urethra :
Medicine doesn’t prove to be much helpful in treating Stricture Urethra. Once a Stricture has developed, it may not go away on its own hence surgical procedure need to be carried out to get over with urethral stricture.Depending upon the cause, length, caliber of Stricture, there are various treatments options such as Urethroplasty, Urethral dilatation, Urethral stent.
Urethroplasty is considered as the best option for treating Stricture Urethra.It’s a surgical procedure where the Urethra is Reconstructed. Urethroplasty has higher success rates with respect to other modalities of treatment. The technique of Urethroplasty has evolved over time. And various factors like Surgeon’s skills, Set up (operation theatre), post-operative care to decide the clinical outcome.
Strictures can be resolved in more than 90% of cases in the first attempt if done by a skilled Reconstructive Urologist. Recurrence of stricture May develops after the surgery so you should be judicious enough to choose the Surgeon with formal training in Urethral reconstructive surgery dedicated to this specialty. The case gets complicated after every failure of surgery so it is necessary to choose the Urologist judiciously for the very first surgery.
In Pelvic Fracture-related Urethral damage, Urethroplasty is done following an interval of 4 months after the treatment of a pelvic fracture. Urethroplasty can influence the patient with stricture to acknowledge his life better and live with deference in the public arena.
HOW CAN URETHRAL STRICTURE BE PREVENTED?
Stricture urethra can be prevented in some cases by treating urinary tract infections, by treating sexually transmitted diseases, and by using good quality catheter. It is crucial to see the urologist with no delays if you are experiencing symptoms of stricture urethra. Treating the condition with immediate effect is the best way to prevent further complications.
BEST DOCTOR FOR TREATING URETHRAL STRICTURE
A Urologist who holds expertise in Genito-Urinary reconstructive surgery or called as reconstructive urologist manages urethral stricture. Since urethral stricture treatment is a complex procedure, therefore it is advised to choose the doctor wisely.
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