Urethral stricture - my experience

Posted , 7 users are following.

About a month ago I was due to have an optical urethrotomy, prior to which I visited this site looking to gain an insight into what I could expect. I was very grateful to other people for having taken the time to share their experiences although most of them seemed to be tales of woe. For this reason I decided to tell about my own story which, so far at least, is going well.

For some years I have had a poor urine flow which, following examination by my GP was diagnosed as an enlarged prostate. I took the prescribed Tamsulosin which made no difference. As the symptoms gradually deteriorated, I was referred to the Royal Berks Hospital for prostate surgery. The consultant thought that my prostate was not too big after all and decided to use a camera to look at my urethra in order to confirm there was "nothing else going on". Bingo.... a urethral stricture in the bulbar region of my penis.

So I underwent the procedure and was supposed to remain in hospital for at least one night but, due to a lack of beds, was discharged the same day. A catheter had been fitted during surgery and I was given instruction in how to empty it, fit the night bag and to change the bag for a new one. The plan was to return to hospital after a week to have the catheter removed following which, if I could pee properly, I would have a 50% chance of being a free man. Everything went well, but what I didn't expect was to then have to self dilate for four months before seeing the urologist again for a progress report. That was a shock; naive of me I suppose.

The self dilation was daily for a week, then every other day for a month, then twice weekly for three months, then a follow up with the consultant. I am now nearing the end of the first month and soon will be dilating twice weekly. I can't deny that this process is difficult for me although not painful at all. The hardest thing to deal with is what is going on in your head. It's just not right to have to insert 3/4 of a 40 cm long tube into your bladder via your penis. However, I've managed so far and although I have to do this again in about an hour and am beginning to worry already, I will continue to manage.

The upside is that I can pee normally. I had forgotten what that was like and I'm amazed every time I have to go. Hopefully this will continue and I can lead a more normal life.

A huge shout out to the NHS staff at The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. They are doing an amazing job under very difficult circumstances and I am extremely grateful.

Hopefully this account of my experience is a help to others. I will update as necessary.

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  • Posted

    Hi, What do you think was the reason you got the stricture?

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    • Posted

      No reason that I can think of. I was told that this can occur following an impact of some sort, a urology investigation or surgery or, as in my case, for no apparent reason at all.

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    • Posted

      hobnob, happy to hear of your success. My stricture was located further up, in what we jokingly refer to as the "tween" area. this was nit a fun surgery, or recovery process. However, being able to pee is such a treat! I literally empty my bladder completely in about 10 seconds every time. No more peeing on my shoes. LOL Sex is much better as well.

      Believe my stricture was caused by a bicycle accident when i was 10 yrs old. Over time it simply grew closed. Dont think I have urinated normally since around highschool. I am now 61.

      congratulations

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  • Posted

    ei mate, glad The Royal Berkshire Hospital did a good job, and that you are feeling better. Both tamsulosin and self dilation are by far the worst treatments, as for horrible side effects and recurrence of symptoms, especially with sd. How are your strictures at the moment? did doctors gave you the option of bulbar urethroplasty ? I will soon undergo a two-stage penile buccal mucosa urethroplasty, had LS pretty much demolishing 2cm of my urethra tube. Last year went through already a few cystoscopies and useless sd....

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    • Posted

      In the last few weeks I have found dilation slightly more difficult although I'm still peeing perfectly. I have a follow up appointment next month, so will find out what happens next.

      No, I wasn't offered urethroplasty but I guess that may be the next option if the stricture recurs.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for posting your experience!

    You are right about the mental component of catheterizing. It did my head in. I did it for a year and it does a job on you. Alters who you think you are. I wish I had talked about it more. It caused problems in my relationship etc. And as much as my partner wanted to talk I couldn't.

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  • Posted

    hey buddy . how is your stricture now

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    • Posted

      Did the final catheter yesterday, having reduced the size to 16ml a month ago. Everything is still fine, but I guess the next few weeks will be telling. The consultant tells me the stricture was so big that the chances of success are dubious and so the next option would be urethroplasty. We will see...

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    • Posted

      any info you need regarding Urethroplasty, let me know, just had 1st stage reconstruction 3 weeks ago due to LS destroying a big part of my urethra. It all comes down to the recurrence threat factor of your own strictures, and the Urologist should be able to assess the recurrence threat levels. My reconstruction urologist told me clearly due to high risk occurrence I had to go for the procedure that protects you the best vs recurrence of strictures Urethroplasty

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  • Posted

    How do you use the self inserted catheter? Like do you need a bag and leave it there? I am going in to have the urethra stricture (after TURP) cut. Thanks.

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  • Posted

    image

    mine looked like this. You lube up the rounded end and insert it. once you get to a certain depth the pee just starts flowing, hence the green stopper. There is no bag. just let if flow into the toilet, shower or sink. i found the toilet impossible and would end up with pee all over the floor or myself . shower was easiest. then the bathroom sink.

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    • Posted

      Happyhacker, you will be taught how to use this. I agree with Osakadan as I too found the toilet impossible. My first attempt was following instruction in the hospital consulting room and was a disaster. I managed to pee everywhere except the intended receptacle. Nevertheless, try not to get too uptight about it because it is much easier than you might think and you will find a way of dealing with it. I found the hardest part was what was going on in my head because the process is just so alien and in four months, I never did quite come to terms with it.

      But every day is another day closer to recovery. Good luck to you.

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