Urethrotomy

What is a urethrotomy?

A urethrotomy is an operation to treat a narrowing of the urethra (tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis). The narrowing is usually caused by scar tissue forming after inflammation, an infection or injury. This can cause a slow flow of urine, often with dribbling, pain, bleeding and infection.

What are the benefits of surgery?

The benefits of surgery are a better flow of urine, improved bladder emptying and less need to get up at night. You should also be less prone to infections.

Are there any alternatives to a urethrotomy?

Other techniques used to treat a narrowing are balloon dilatation, using dilators and inserting a stent.

More complicated narrowings sometimes need open surgery.

What does the operation involve?

A urethrotomy is performed under a general or spinal anaesthetic. The operation usually takes less than half an hour.

Your surgeon will pass a special rigid fibre-optic telescope (cystoscope) into your urethra (see figure 1).

Urethrotomy 

Your surgeon will make a cut in the scar tissue to make the urethra wider.

What complications can happen?

General complications of any operation:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Specific complications of this operation:

  • Retention of urine
  • A swollen penis
  • Narrowing of another part of the urethra
  • Making a hole in the bladder

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

You should be able to return to work after a few days.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Sometimes a narrowing can happen again.

Most men make a good recovery, with a big improvement in their symptoms. Progress is most rapid in the first six weeks but improvement can continue for many months, particularly if your bladder has become overactive.

Summary

A narrowing of the urethra can cause a slow flow of urine, often with dribbling, pain, bleeding and infection. A urethrotomy should relieve your symptoms.

Paying for your operation

Urethrotomy costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr John Lemberger FRCS

Illustrations: Mr John Lemberger FRCS

Copyright © 2008 EIDO Healthcare Limited   The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by BMI Healthcare. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Pricing

Opening up of urethra

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £2,395 Included £2,395
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £2,595
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £2,395
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £2,595

Terms & Conditions

Treatment prices displayed are a guide for initial consultation, and a guide price for our fixed price packages which include pre-assessment, procedure and aftercare. Your Consultant will be able to discuss costs in greater detail at your consultation, after which a quote of your fixed price package will be provided [which is subject to results of any pre-assessment tests]. Prices can be subject to change.

For more information please refer to our terms and conditions (large print version).

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