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Nat Rev Urol. 2014 Jan;11(1):43-50. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2013.275. Epub 2013 Dec 17.

Male urethral strictures and their management.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of California, 400 Parnassus Avenue, Suite A-610, Box 0738, San Francisco, CA 94143-0738, USA.


Male urethral stricture disease is prevalent and has a substantial impact on quality of life and health-care costs. Management of urethral strictures is complex and depends on the characteristics of the stricture. Data show that there is no difference between urethral dilation and internal urethrotomy in terms of long-term outcomes; success rates range widely from 8-80%, with long-term success rates of 20-30%. For both of these procedures, the risk of recurrence is greater for men with longer strictures, penile urethral strictures, multiple strictures, presence of infection, or history of prior procedures. Analysis has shown that repeated use of urethrotomy is not clinically effective or cost-effective in these patients. Long-term success rates are higher for surgical reconstruction with urethroplasty, with most studies showing success rates of 85-90%. Many techniques have been utilized for urethroplasty, depending on the location, length, and character of the stricture. Successful management of urethral strictures requires detailed knowledge of anatomy, pathophysiology, proper patient selection, and reconstructive techniques.

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