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What are Urethral Strictures?

The urethra is an important part of the urinary tract and primarily serves to empty the bladder of urine in men and women.  A urethral stricture is scar tissue in the urethra that can block the flow of urine.  Urethral strictures are more common in men because their urethras are longer than in women and are more susceptible to disease or injury.  Urethral stricture is usually not a congenital (born with) problem and women rarely develop urethral strictures.

 

Urethral strictures are more common in men.

Causes of Urethral Stricture Disease

Urethral stricture disease can be caused by:

  • Trauma
  • Chronic inflammation from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Frequent instrumentations for minimally invasive urologic surgery
  • Radiation for prostate cancer treatment

Additionally, some men present with an idiopathic form of urethral stricture disease.  For example, bicycle straddle injury can lead to urethral strictures in men. Repeated treatments with instruments for removal of kidney stones and trauma from difficult urinary catheterization can also cause urethral strictures in men.

Symptoms

  • Slow urine stream
  • Complete inability to urinate
  • Painful urination
  • Spraying of the urine stream
  • Hematuria or blood in the urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections in men
  • Urethral discharge

It’s important to note that these are common symptoms for other medical conditions and should be brought to the attention of your doctor for a full evaluation to determine the cause.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will first perform a complete physical exam as well as recommend and perform a urethral imaging study such as X-ray or ultrasound of the urethra. Other tests may include:

  • Retrograde Urethrogram – This test allows the urologist to visualize any structural abnormalities in the urethra including narrowed areas or blockages.  It is very important to document the location and size of the stricture and retrograde urethrogram serves as a roadmap for the urologist for surgical planning.  This is a diagnostics procedure only and does not involve cutting or suturing. Your doctor will inject a dye into the urethra and x-rays are taken to view the entire urethra.
  • Urethroscopy – A small, flexible telescope is placed into the urethra. This study allows your doctor to see inside the urethra from the tip of the penis to the location of the stricture.

Meet Our Reconstructive Urologist

Mark G. Bowles

M.D.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, General Urology, Kidney Stones, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Prostate Cancer, Urethral Stricture Disease, Vasectomy

Katherine M. Cameron

M.D.

Female Incontinence, Female Pelvic Health, Female Urology, General Urology, Interstitial Cystitis, Kidney Stones, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Stress Urinary Incontinence, Vaginal rejuvenation

Stuart A. Chasan

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Adult circumcision, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, General Urology, Kidney Stones, Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Vasectomy

Walter William Chiles

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Female Incontinence, General Urology, InterStim Neuromodulation Therapy for OAB, Kidney Stones, Laser prostatectomy, Rezum Therapy for BPH, Robotic Prostatectomy, UroLift, Vasectomy, Xiaflex® for Peyronies disease

Lee Congleton, III

M.D., F.AC.S.

Artificial sphincter, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, Female Incontinence, Female urinary incontinence, General Urology, Hematuria, Kidney Stones, Low Testosterone, Male Incontinence, No-Scalpel Vasectomy, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Penile Prosthesis, Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Rezum Therapy for BPH, Robotic Prostatectomy, Urethral sling surgery, Urethral Stricture Disease, UroLift, Voiding dysfunction

Brandon S. Cottrell

M.D.

Adult circumcision, Artificial sphincter, Bladder Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, General Urology, Kidney Stones, Male Infertility, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Prostatitis, Urethral Stricture Disease, Vasectomy

Sean M. DeLair

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Bladder Cancer, Cryotherapy, Kidney Cancer, Kidney Stones, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Penile Prosthesis, Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer, UroLift

Christopher D. Harris

M.D., F.AC.S.

Adult circumcision, General Urology, Low Testosterone, Prostatitis, UTI, Vasectomy

Timothy J. LeRoy

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, Female Pelvic Health, InterStim Neuromodulation Therapy for OAB, Kidney Stones, Low Testosterone, Male Sexual Health, Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Rezum Therapy for BPH, Robotic Prostatectomy, Urinary Incontinence, UroLift, Voiding dysfunction

Garrett H. Lischer

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, Female Incontinence, Kidney Stones, Low Testosterone, Male Incontinence, Male Sexual Dysfunction, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Penile Prosthesis, Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Robotic Prostatectomy, Stone Disease, UTI, Vaginal rejuvenation, Voiding dysfunction

Eric R. Nicely

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Artificial sphincter, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, Female Pelvic Health, General Urology, Hematuria, Interstitial Cystitis, Kidney Stones, Low Testosterone, Male Infertility, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Penile Prosthesis, Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Robotic Prostatectomy, Testicular pain, Urethral Stricture Disease, Urinary Incontinence, UTI, Vasectomy

Brian Parker

M.D.

Artificial sphincter, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, Female Pelvic Health, General Urology, Hematuria, Interstitial Cystitis, Kidney Stones, Low Testosterone, Male Infertility, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Penile Prosthesis, Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Urethral Stricture Disease, Urinary Incontinence, Vasectomy, Voiding dysfunction

Randall E. Pearson

M.D.

Adult circumcision, Bladder Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, General Urology, Kidney Stones, Male Infertility, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Urethral Stricture Disease, Vasectomy, Vasectomy reversal

Christopher E. Ramsey

M.D.

Bladder Cancer, General Urology, Hematuria, Kidney Stones, Prostate Cancer, Robotic Prostatectomy, Robotic surgery, UroLift, Vasectomy

T. Preston Shepherd

M.D., F.A.C.S.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, Erectile Dysfunction, Interstitial Cystitis, Kidney Stones, Low Testosterone, Male Infertility, Penile Prosthesis, Peyronie's Disease, Prostate Cancer, Testicular pain, Urethral Stricture Disease, Urinary Incontinence

Adam Shrewsberry

M.D.

Artificial sphincter, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia/BPH, Bladder Cancer, General Urology, Hematuria, Kidney Cancer, Kidney Stones, Overactive Bladder (OAB), Prostate Cancer, Robotic Prostatectomy, Robotic surgery, UroLift, Vasectomy, Voiding dysfunction

Sylvia Waters

RN

Prostate Cancer

Treatment for Urethral Strictures

Tennessee Urology specialists offer several treatment options for urethral stricture disease.

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