It may occur within the penis or in the ‘bulbar’ part of the urethra that is situated further back in the perineum.
It causes a blocked or reduced flow of urine which can lead to complications.
There are temporary solutions such as dilatations or optical urethrotomies (performed through a surgical telescope passed down the urethra) which might be suggested and undertaken by Urologists.
Whilst cheaper, and less invasive (not requiring any ‘open’ surgery), unfortunately such procedures are rarely curative.
They usually only provide temporary relief and the patient will be committed to repeated interventions for the rest of his life.
Depending on the cause of the stricture there are 2 main surgical options to provide a permanent solution.
Many simple strictures can be corrected with an “Augmentation Urethroplasty”.
This involves opening up the abnormally narrow segment and surgically inserting either a skin graft taken from the foreskin, or a mucosal graft taken from inside the mouth, thereby restoring normal dimensions.
For more severe cases or as a result of an ongoing disease process (such as BXO) it may be necessary to do 2 operations, 6 months apart, to replace the entire circumference of the strictured/diseased segment of the urethra, usually employing lining taken from inside the mouth (“ Buccal Mucosa Substitution Urethroplasty”).
Very rarely it may also be necessary to obtain additional lining from the inside of the bladder.
These procedures require General Anaesthesia and may require up to 3 or 4 hours of surgery.
The patients usually stay in hospital for 24 – 48 hours and they go home afterwards with a catheter in place.
The length of time the catheter will stay in, depends on the intra-operative findings, the type of the procedure and the overall length of the urethroplasty.