Optical Urethrotomy/Laser

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Optical Urethrotomy/Laser

An Optical Urethrotomy is a procedure for opening up a stricture (narrowing) in the urethra (water pipe). 

A urethral stricture is a medical name for a ring of scar tissue surrounding the urinary passage from the bladder. Although urethral strictures can occur anywhere from the bladder to the external opening of the water pipe, the most common places are at the base of the penis and also just inside the water pipe.

The main purpose of the operation is to relieve urinary obstruction and improve urinary flow. For most patients, this will provide a cure or a significant improvement in urinary symptoms.

What does the procedure involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic or spinal epidural anaesthesia and takes 15 – 20 minutes. 

The operation is performed using a telescope passed into the penis through the water pipe (urethra). Any narrowing due to stricture can then be cut using a special internal knife or a laser probe. All the cutting takes place internally and there are no incisions or stitches. Most patients require the insertion of a catheter into the bladder for 3-7 days after the procedure. The average hospital stay is 12 to 36 hours.

You may experience temporary side effects after surgery, such as mild burning or bleeding on passing urine for a short period after the operation.