A urethral stricture occurs when your urethra narrows due to a buildup of scar tissue, making it harder to urinate. It can be caused by trauma, such as an injury or accident, surgery, radiation therapy, or an enlarged prostate. At Duke, we often help people with urethral stricture who have been treated unsuccessfully elsewhere. Our urologists are experts in treatment options that can help you regain your urination function.
Testing for Urethral Stricture
Your urologist will conduct a physical exam and recommend one or more of the following tests to diagnose and determine the extent of your stricture.
A urine test checks the appearance and acidity of your urine and looks for any abnormal substances, like blood or too much protein. It can identify or rule out a bladder infection as the cause of your symptoms.
Post-Void Residual Urine Test
After you urinate, your urologist uses an ultrasound to see how much urine is left in your bladder. This can indicate whether a blockage is present.
This test determines the narrowness and length of your stricture. Your doctor injects a dye into your urethra until it reaches your bladder. An X-ray shows the extent of the stricture.
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Conditions Related to Urethral Stricture
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate)
In some cases, a urethral stricture and enlarged prostate are related. The stricture can force a backflow of urine into the prostate and cause inflammation. Your urologist will test the strength of your urinary flow to diagnose your condition.
A urethral stricture impacts the bladder and can make urination difficult and sometimes causes leakage. Testing your urine and how pressure builds in your bladder can help your urologist determine any connection.
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