Urethral stricture is a disease with debilitating outcomes when left untreated, especially in the older population. The urethra provides a transport channel for urine from the bladder to the outside. Urethral stricture is a condition that occurs due to the narrowing of the tube, which increases discomfort and obstructs the flow of urine. Even though it is known to affect primarily men, women have also been subjected to the disease. As the procedure differs from one place to another, the urethrotomy cost in India also varies.
Causes of Urethral Stricture
The causes of urethral stricture include inflammation or the presence of scar tissues. There are several reasons for developing scar tissues, including endoscopy, traumatic injury, iatrogenic injury, sexually transmitted infections, and radiation therapy. If the person has been exposed to the placement of catheters or instruments in the urethra, they have a higher chance of urethral stricture.
As the scar tissue grows in the urethra, it leads to the narrowing of the tube. The difficulty of passing urine is very evident. Although, some injuries or inflammation may take time to be noticeable. In other outcomes, the stricture follows right after a urethral injury.
The urethrotomy cost in India depends on the treatment plan, as every stricture cause and severity varies from person to person.
Urethrotomy: What are the symptoms of urethral stricture?
The most prominent symptom of urethral stricture is a weakened urinary system. However, many other signs and symptoms can help identify the issue.
- Painful urination with a burning sensation
- Strain during urination
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder
- Urinary retention
- A decrease in the volume of urine
- Frequent or sudden urination
- Unusual discharge from the urethra
- Swelling or inflammation in the penis
- Presence of blood in urine/semen
- Recurring Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Diagnosis of the disease – How does it work?
Before we discuss the urethrotomy cost in India, it’s essential to be aware of the various diagnosis methods.
The urethral stricture can be diagnosed with the help of a physical exam. However, there are also diagnostic tests that can be performed. These include:
- Conduct a retrograde urethrogram to estimate the density and length of the stricture.
- Perform a urine test flow and ultrasound to find the effect of stricture on the urine flow.
- Run an ultrasound to gauge the amount of urine left behind even after urination.
- For women patients, urodynamics or voiding urography are performed. Meatal appearance may also be noticed.
- Perform cystoscopy, which involves the insertion of the fiberoptic scope inside the urethra. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. It helps to determine the location and appearance of the stricture.
Treatment Plan – How is urethral stricture treated?
There are various treatment plans available for a urethral stricture. For less severe patients, a non-surgical mode of treatment is adopted. The procedure depends on the blockage size and the presence of scar tissues. The non-surgical method involves the use of a dilator which essentially widens the urethra. It’s a simple procedure involving using a small wire passed through the urethra and into the bladder. Larger dilators are used to increase the size of the urethra slowly.
For more severe urethral stricture cases, the non-surgical way forward is the use of permanent urinary catheter replacement. People with more severe strictures are recommended to go for surgery. Urethrotomy or urethroplasty are two treatment options for urethral strictures.
Urethrotomy involves an endoscopic procedure where an endoscope is inserted into the urethra to observe the structure. A surgical knife is passed through the endoscope to enlarge the urethra. For people with a severely damaged bladder, urethroplasty is recommended. In this treatment plan, the urine flow is redirected to an opening in the abdomen. A small portion of the intestine is then used to link the uterus to the opening.
Women’s treatment options include dilatation, endoscopic procedure, or repair with tissue flaps or grafts. If the urethral stricture is without a lot of scar tissue and short, professionals advise treatment with dilation or endoscopic incision. On the other hand, urethroplasty is performed in cases of recurrent stricture or a long stricture.
The Aftermath of Treatment – Recovery Time
Once the treatment procedure is performed, the next step is to discuss the recovery period. There is no general timeline for the recovery period as the severity of the urethral stricture differs from person to person. Factors like the procedure performed, the timeline of the catheter being kept in place, the health of the patient, and even the physician’s opinion play an important role. Urethroplasty requires the maximum time for recovery, whereas urethroplasty and dilation are typically outpatient procedures.
Urethrotomy Cost in India
The urethrotomy cost in India varies from 1,00,000 (1 Lakh) to 3,00,000 (3 Lakh) approximately. Urethroplasty surgery is more expensive and can range from 2,00,000 (2 Lakh) to almost 3,50,000 (3.5 Lakh) Rupees. Repeat urethrotomy and dilation cost can come up to 5,00,000 (5 Lakh) Rupees.