Urethroplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed on the urethra which is a part of our urinary system. The main function of the urethra is to act as a outflow channel for urine from the urinary bladder. When the formation of scar tissue starts inside the urethra, surgery is needed.
The scar tissue (stricture) may involve varied lengths of the urethra; from as short as few millimeter to as much as whole length (6 inches or more). Therefore, based on the assessment before surgery, different types of urethroplasties may be employed.
The length of the whole surgery depends on the kind of repair that needs to be done. Joining two ends of the urethra comparatively takes lesser time than taking tissues from other parts of the body and then associating them with the urethra. Urethroplasty is the most recommended method to treat urethral strictures and to make the urine pass easily again with durable outcome.
Urethral stricture is a condition of the urethra in which it starts contracting down and makes it difficult for the urine to pass through. The reduction in the hole also acts as a blocking agent because of which, again, the urine cannot flow normally.
The male population is more commonly affected by this condition compared to the females.
Before the actual surgery, an X-RAY named a retrograde urethrogram – voiding cystourethrogram (RGU-VCUG) is be performed to find out and finalize the length as well as the location of the blockage in the urethra (having a road-map).
After these are done, you will be advised about your diet and activities that you need to follow before the surgery. Sometimes, the clinician may also suggest you get a catheter (tube) placed through lower part of abdomen directly into the urinary bladder to bypass urine away from urethra so as to allow rest to the urethra. The catheter also helps with the scars getting more well defined and easier to treat.
During the urethroplasty surgery, the doctors will first reach the urethra by cutting down the muscle tissue and then find the scars. Based on the situation, the stricture will either be removed or will be widened by patch (graft / flap). After the process is completed, the wound will be stitched and the catheter will be passed through the surgery site into the bladder. This will help the urine to pass without any disturbance to the operated section and will help healing of surgery site. The catheter may be kept for 2 – 4 weeks depending on individual situation.
You would not need to do much after the procedure is completed. The doctor may give you some pain medication, medication to keep the bladder at rest and teach how to take care of skin stitches and catheter. You will also need to take care of the area if the doctor has used extra tissues from any other body part.
Urethroplasty is a surgery used to treat your scarred urethra because of which it becomes difficult to pass urine. At all times, this procedure is safe and has a high success rate. However, have a talk with your health professional for more clarity over the same.