If you’re experiencing problems with your urinary tract or reproductive organs, our experienced team of Houston men’s urologists can help.

Urethral Stricture Disease

Diagnosis and treatment for urethral stricture disease

When your drinking straw is bent or your garden hose gets twisted, you will have problems getting water to come through. This is what it’s like to have urethral stricture disease. Your urethra, which is the tube that urine flows through from the bladder to exit your body, can become narrow due to injuries, infections or swelling. These blockages can cause difficulty urinating and other symptoms. Our Houston urologists can help by providing expert diagnosis and treatment for this condition.

What causes urethra narrowing?

Urethral stricture disease or narrowing of the urethra can happen for a number of reasons.

  • Trauma from accidents
  • Damage caused by instruments or catheters used during medical procedures or treatments
  • Infections and inflammation from issues such as sexually transmitted infections
  • Prostate surgery or enlarged prostate
  • Kidney stone removal
  • Radiation therapy

Sometimes, urologists can’t determine the cause, but they do know that more men than women develop this issue.

What are the symptoms of urethral stricture disease?

One of the most common symptoms of this condition is difficulty urinating, but there are other signs to note.

  • Problems producing urine, or a weak stream
  • Pain during urination
  • A bladder that won’t empty completely
  • Spraying urine
  • Urinating more frequently or getting that “gotta go” feeling more often
  • Urinary tract infections, or UTIs
  • Blood in semen or urine
  • Dark urine
  • Swollen penis

You shouldn’t ignore any of these symptoms. Contact our Houston urology team as soon as you can because prolonged urethral stricture disease can lead to serious complications, such as kidney damage.

Our Houston urologists can determine what is causing your difficulty urinating

Trouble urinating is a common symptom, but our experienced urologists can narrow down the cause of your problems. They may perform one or more tests to diagnose your concerns.

In addition to a physical examination, they may recommend urethral imaging, such as ultrasound or X-rays. A retrograde urethrogram is an outpatient imaging test. During this procedure, our urologists insert contrast dye into the urinary tract to outline the urethra, so they can see it with imaging. Our physicians may also perform a urethroscopy. During this exam, your urologist inserts a scope into your urethra to examine the area and the damage.

Our urologists offer a variety of treatments for this disease

If our physicians diagnose urethral stricture disease, there are a variety of treatment options, depending on the degree of scarring and blockage in your urethra. Patients with infections take antibiotics. Our urologists advise many patients to try catheterization to help drain the urine. Other, more involved treatments are also available.

  • Widening, or dilating, the urethra
  • Urethroplasty, a surgery to enlarge the narrowed portion of the urethra
  • An endoscopic urethrotomy, in which the urologist inserts a cystoscope tool into the urethra to remove the stricture or narrowing or treat it with a laser
  • Optilume®, a drug-coated balloon treatment that dilates and delivers medication to the urethral stricture at the same time. This treatment not only helps limit scar tissue, but it also helps prevent strictures from recurring.

Patients with a serious stricture who do not opt for a surgical procedure may get a long-term catheter or an implanted stent to hold the urethra open and relieve difficulty urinating.

Our Houston urologists take care of men’s and women’s urology problems and help them improve their lives. Contact us to get to your best health.