Male Urethral Stricture

Urologists at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) specialize in problems of the genitourinary tract, including urethral stricture disease. This condition is characterized by a scar around the urethra which causes it to narrow and block the flow of urine. Urethral stricture results from inflammation, injury or infection. It is more common in men than women since their urethras are longer.

Urethral Stricture Topics

Symptoms of Urethral Stricture

There are many symptoms that may indicate urethral stricture. These include:

Diagnosis of Urethral Stricture

Early detection is recommended to prevent serious kidney problems. Your urologist will conduct a thorough diagnostic evaluation which may include:

  • Medical and physical examination
  • Urethral imaging, X-rays or ultrasound.
  • Urethroscopy, a small telescope in the urethra, allows visual examination between the tip of the penis and the stricture.
  • Retrograde urethrogram injects contrast dye into the urethra at the tip of the penis to indicate the number, position, length and severity of the stricture.
  • Antegrade urethrogram allows visualization of entire urethra and stricture.
Treatment for Urethral Stricture

Your urologist will decide the best treatment option for you after evaluating the length, location and degree of scar tissue. Treatment may include:

  • Dilation, stretching the stricture using progressively larger dilators or a balloon on a catheter.
  • Urethrotomy, moving a cystoscope along the urethra to the stricture. A blade or laser on the cystoscope cuts the stricture, creating a gap in the narrowing.
  • Urethroplasty, surgery to remove the scar tissue and reconnect the two ends of the urethra (anastomotic urethroplasty). Sometimes additional tissue is needed to replace the segment (substitution procedures).
What You Should Expect

You will receive a thorough diagnostic evaluation and receive clinically-proven treatment by a board-certified urologist who specializes in urethral stricture. Our goal is to alleviate symptoms so you can return to every life. Appointments are confidential and private.

Multidisciplinary Care

Brigham and Women’s Hospital practices a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, routinely collaborating with colleagues in other medical specialties. If your urologist discovers that an underlying illness has contributed to your urethral stricture, you will be referred to an appropriate BWH physician for an evaluation.


Go to our online health library to learn more about urology diseases and tests.

Visit the Kessler Health Education Library in the Bretholtz Center for Patients and Families to access computers and knowledgeable staff.

Access a complete directory of patient and family services.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital

For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH