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Urethral stricture

An unusual condition in which the male urethra becomes narrowed and occasionally shortened due to shrinkage of scar tissue in its walls. Scar tissue can form after injury to the urethra or constant urethritis (inflammation of the urethra).

A stricture can make ejaculation and passing urine painful or difficult, and it can cause some deformation of the penis when erect. It can also encourage the development of urinary tract infection due to a build-up of stagnant urine. In certain cases, trapped urine puts back pressure on the kidneys and can lead to kidney damage.

Treatment is generally by urethral dilation (surgical widening of the urethra). If this operation fails, a surgeon can cut through the scar tissue or, on certain cases, the stricture may be fully removed and the urethra is completely reconstructed by plastic surgery.

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