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In some cases, your doctor may be able to treat a urethral stricture by dilating the urethra. This is done during a cystoscopy by inserting a thin instrument to stretch the urethra while you are under local anesthesia. Another option is to use a small knife inside the cystoscope instrument to make a cut in the stricture and allow easier passage of urine; this is called a direct visual urethrotomy.
If dilation or incision is not effective or if the urethral stricture is too dense or long, you may need a surgery called urethral reconstruction (also called urethroplasty). There are two types of urethral reconstruction:
- Anastomotic Technique: The surgeon removes the narrowed section of the urethra and re-attaches the two normal ends.
- Tissue Transfer: The surgeon grafts tissue from another part of the body to augment the narrowed section and restore it to a normal width. Skin taken from the inside of the cheek (buccal mucosa) or inside the bladder (bladder mucosa) may be used for this purpose.
After urethral reconstruction surgery, most patients stay in the hospital for several days. Pain or soreness in the penis or scrotum is not usually a problem; if buccal mucosa was used for a graft, you may have some soreness in your mouth, which will subside over the next few days.
Learn more about urethral reconstruction: