Urethral Stricture is in the picture
September 15, 2017 2:23 PM   Subscribe

I was recently diagnosed with a urethral stricture. The doctor made it seem like no big deal, but googling (I know, I know) has me a little freaked out. If you have any knowledge about this diagnosis or know of US-based medical centers that have particularly good Urology departments please share!

I'm a mid-40s male who recently had a one-off episode of peeing a lot of blood (looked like red wine). After a CT scan and numerous other tests that ruled out the "easy" causes, a cystoscopy revealed that I have a stricture in my urethra and I've been referred to a surgeon to determine next steps. I'm currently waiting for the call to schedule that appointment, and in the mean time I'm freaking out to the point that I'm sure I'm irritating my family.

I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with how something like this plays out, and what exactly I might expect. Should I prepare for applying for medical leave from work? Or is the treatment possibly something that can be done outpatient? Googling this has ramped my anxiety up to 11 but I'm willing to hear dire news if that's the reality.

Also, I have great insurance and am willing to travel for treatment if this isn't something totally routine. If anyone has recommendations for medical centers known for Urology I would love to hear them.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
Well, NY Presbyterian is good. I'm sure others are also good.
posted by JimN2TAW at 2:26 PM on September 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Maybe I'm missing something, but I am not sure that a urethral stricture is related to the bloody urine. Did the cystoscopy doctor say it was?

Have you had difficulty urinating? That's a typical problem with a urethral stricture, and is usually treated with stenting, or mild stretching of the urethra, usually needed periodically. It's not usually a huge problem as far as I am aware - I'm a nurse with a lot of experience, with some, but not a tremendous amount of urology experience.

Bloody urine is something that should be followed up on, and it might or might not be a problem. Blood can come from the bladder itself, but it can also come from upstream, from the ureter or kidney. Sometimes a blow to the kidney from a fall, or a car accident, even from karate, some sort of trauma to the flank can bruise the kidney.There are other potential causes, and you should probably see a urologist to investigate. Most of the time they are not serious, but both issues are the purvue of urology. This is a very common urology problem, and I think any competent urologist is a reasonable start. You can probably get an appointment much sooner than if you want an academic medical center, especially if you continue to have symptoms while you're waiting. For complicated problems or elusive diagnoses an academic medical center would be wise for follow-up.
posted by citygirl at 10:55 AM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

OP here (posted anonymously to make it more difficult for my employer to possibly get wind of this).

They don't know why I had blood in my urine, but a CT scan showed thickening of the bladder wall. They couldn't do the complete cystoscopy because they couldn't get past the stricture (that was not fun), so they're still trying to rule out serious causes of the bleeding (they've ruled out all of the simple possible causes). It only happened once (over a month ago) and multiple urine tests since then have not contained even microscopic blood. Kidney function is normal, but I have been retaining urine (70 ml last time they checked).

I feel better hearing that the stricture isn't necessarily a big problem. The urologist (at a University medical center) said it would probably involve inpatient surgery and googling those procedures led me to some images that I'll never be able to un-see.
posted by plantbot at 2:25 PM on September 16, 2017

I'm UK based and was also diagnosed with a urethral stricture.

Basically I had several episodes of peeing cherry red urine. I went to my doctor who referred me to a urologist, who tried to carry out a systoscopy, but could not because of the stricture.

He told me because of the stricture I couldn't empty my bladder fully and this caused me to get bladder infections which in turn caused the bleeding.

I had surgery to remove the stricture, which was carried out add s day case. It was entirely successful. The only problem was I had to be catheterised for an extended period post surgery to allow my uretha to heal.
posted by maxmix at 3:13 PM on September 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older Disguising dermatillomania (picked-at finger skin)...   |   Where should our family take a European trip? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.