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Urethral Dilation

By Bradley D. Figler, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology, University of North Carolina

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Urethral dilation is used to treat the following:

  • Urethral strictures

  • Meatal stenosis

Contraindications include untreated infection and bleeding diathesis. Dilation can be done using various techniques, such as by inflating a balloon or by inserting progressively larger instruments called sounds. Usually, lidocaine gel, a local anesthetic, is first introduced into the penis. Typically, after dilation a urethral catheter is left in place temporarily to facilitate healing. Sometimes patients are asked to insert an instrument into their own urethra periodically at home.