An optical urethrotomy is a procedure that is performed to open up a stricture or narrowing in the urethra. A stricture is a medical term for scar tissue that forms around the urinary passage. Urethral strictures may occur anywhere from the bladder to the external opening of the urethra. But the most common sites are the base of the penis and also on the inner surface of the urethra.

What are the symptoms of a urethral stricture?

The symptoms vary in each individual, but commonly include:

  • Impaired flow of urine and straining while voiding
  • Spraying of urine or a ‘double stream’ may occur while voiding
  • Dribbling of urine after passing
  • Increased frequency in passing urine that is more than usual
  • Pain while voiding urine can sometimes occur
  • Urinary tract infection
If left untreated, you may be at risk of:
  • Bladder, prostate and kidney infections.
  • An abscess that may develop above the stricture causing further damage to the urethra
  • Cancer of the urethra is also a rare complication

What can you expect?

  • Prior to the surgery, you need to undergo a preoperative assessment to make sure that you are fit for surgery.
  • Your urologist will take a detailed medical history to assess your current health status
  • Your doctor will perform a systemic examination of the body along with investigations such as blood tests, imaging etc
  • If you are someone who smokes, you may need to consider giving up the habit several weeks before the surgery
  • Try to maintain your weight as close to the ideal weight as possible
  • Inform your doctor about any medical conditions that you may have
  • Update your doctor about medications that you may be taking currently
On the day of the surgery, follow instructions about:
  • Having nothing to eat or drink hours before the surgery
  • Continue to take your medications and follow instructions about stopping temporarily
  • Ask any questions that you may have about the procedure
During the surgery:
  • After making sure that you are under anaesthesia, the surgeon will insert an instrument known as a “Cystoscope” with a surgical knife that is attached to your urethra.
  • The narrowed area will be opened up with the special surgical blade
  • The surgeon will examine the stricture and make an assessment.
  • If the area appears to be open enough and easily accessed, then no further cuts may be required
  • If the surgeon determines that the area has not sufficiently opened up, more incisions will be made.
  • After the cuts are over, your bladder will be completely emptied and filled with irrigation fluid.
  • A catheter will be put inside your bladder to drain excess fluid
  • You will probably wake up in the ward, where you’ll remain until the discharge
After the surgery: 
  • You may be required to learn periodic self-dilatation by passing a lubricated catheter in and out of your urethra and help prevent it from narrowing again.
  • You will be prescribed medication that you need to take following the surgery
  • The road to full recovery varies from person to person.
  • You may notice that your urine looks slightly pink. This should clear in 1-2 weeks.
  • Try to stay well hydrated and drink 2 to 3 litres of water a day for full recovery
  • You can shower or take a bath normally after getting home
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and follow any special instructions
  • You can resume intimacy 2 weeks after the surgery

What are the advantages of an optical internal urethrotomy?

  • Relief from the trouble of having to strain to initiate urination
  • Resuming a normal stream of urine
  • No need for the strain to urinate
  • Achieving better control of the ability to hold in urine
  • There is no longer the need for sleep disturbances with the need to urinate
  • Relief from post voiding dribbling of urine

Why choose us?

  • Highly skilled doctors: Our urologists have the expertise to handle even the most challenging urologic conditions.
  • Personalized care: Our urologists work closely by understanding your needs and provide comprehensive care.
  • State-of-the-art technology: We have access to cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment facilities. This ensures that you receive the best possible care
  • Innovative techniques: We specialize in minimally invasive procedures that are designed to provide effective treatment with fewer side effects and ensure a faster recovery
  • Patient-centred care: With us, you can expect the best standard of care with a human touch.
  • Holistic care – We believe in treating you with compassion beyond treating your diagnosis or condition. You are encouraged to take our opinion before making an informed decision.
  • Tailor-made plan –We customize your treatment plan based on your specific needs by collaborating with experts in other specialities including oncologists, radiologists etc to provide comprehensive care.


Q. Does urethral stricture heal itself?

Urethral strictures typically do not heal on their own. These narrowings or blockages in the urethra may be caused by scar tissue, inflammation, or injury. Medical intervention, such as urethral dilation or surgery, is often required to treat urethral strictures and alleviate symptoms.

Q. How long are urethral strictures?

The length of urethral strictures varies among individuals and is influenced by factors such as the cause of the stricture, its location, and the severity. Urethral strictures can be short or extend over a longer segment of the urethra. The precise length is determined through diagnostic procedures, such as urethroscopy or imaging studies.

Q. Is there pain with a urethral stricture?

Yes, individuals with urethral strictures may experience pain or discomfort, especially during urination. Scar tissue or narrowing in the urethra can impede the smooth flow of urine, leading to symptoms such as pain, a burning sensation, or difficulty passing urine.

Q. Can you live with a urethral stricture?

Living with a urethral stricture is possible, but it often requires medical management or intervention. Untreated urethral strictures can lead to complications such as urinary retention, recurrent urinary tract infections, or damage to the kidneys. Seeking medical advice and appropriate treatment is crucial for managing urethral strictures effectively.

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