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Urethral Stricture Repair

Overview

Urinary obstruction can occur for many reasons.  One reason is a blockage in the flow of urine that may occur from the bladder to the tip of the penis (meatus).  Such a blockage is defined as a urethral stricture.  Urethral strictures rarely occur in women and are seen more commonly in men. A number of events can lead to stricture formation.  The most important of these are: trauma/injury (straddle injury, pelvic fracture), infection (sexually transmitted disease), and post-instrumentation (eg. traumatic urinary catheter placement, transurethal surgery).  A urethral stricture may also occur following surgery or radiation therapy for prostate cancer.  Following damage to the urethra by any of the above methods, the scar may take many years to develop.  As such, a significant number of men will present later in life with an unknown etiology. 

Strictures located at the tip of the penis/urethra (urethral meatus) may be caused by trauma; however, another common reason is an inflammatory skin condition known as lichen sclerosis (previously balanitis xerotica obliterans). 

In general, urethral strictures are divided into two main categories based on location:

1.       Anterior urethra (from the sphincter [control muscle] to the tip of the penis)

       2.    Posterior urethra (from the bladder to the urethral sphincter)



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