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Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatment options for urethral strictures here at Advanced Urology Institute.


A urethral stricture is a scar in the lining of the tube that carries urine out of your bladder.

When the scar blocks your flow of urine, it can cause issues that require treatment. Urethral strictures are more common in men than women.

What causes urethral strictures?

If you have a medical procedure that involves your urethra, bladder, or prostate, you may develop scar tissue called urethral strictures. These strictures can also develop after you’ve had radiation, inflammation, or trauma to the area around your bladder or groin. Sometimes your urologist may not be able to determine the cause.

What are common symptoms of urethral strictures?

You may have urethral strictures if you have:

  • Trouble starting to urinate
  • Weak or split urine stream
  • Interruptions to your urine stream
  • Burning sensation when you urinate
  • Difficulty emptying your bladder
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Pain in your penis

How are Urethral Strictures treated?

Urethral strictures block urine flow and can cause many problems if not treated, including infections and injury to the bladder and kidneys due to backup of urine in the bladder.

One of the following surgical treatments is most common:

  • Urethral dilation: This minimally invasive procedure, performed in the operating room or the office, opens scar tissue by stretching the urethra. 
  • Incision of urethral stricture: This is a minimally invasive procedure performed in the operating room. The scar tissue is cut to open it using an instrument inserted through a cystoscope.
  • Urethroplasty: This procedure involves surgically removing the scarred portion and reconstructing the urethra. Sometimes tissue from inside the mouth is needed. This procedure has the highest rate of long-term success.
  • Optilume®: A drug-coated balloon is inserted into the urethra under sedation in the operating room. The balloon expands the scar tissue surrounding the stricture and delivers a medication to reduce the chance of recurrence.