Urethrotomy is a surgical process that is done to treat urethral stricture disease. It is also referred to as direct vision internal urethrotomy. It is done to widen a narrowed urethra using a urethrotome or a knife made for surgeries passed through a cystoscope. Urethral strictures in women are extremely rare, and urethrotomy is usually only performed on men.
A urethrotomy is an operation that is done to cause relief from the symptoms of a narrowed urethra by using techniques to widen it. Urethrotomy cost in India varies from Rs. 3,00,000 to Rs. 5,00,000 depending on the procedure.
What Is the Procedure?
Urethral stricture refers to the condition when the flow of urine is restricted because of the narrowing of the urethra. The small tube carrying urine out of the bladder is called the urethra. It is usually wide enough to let the urine pass seamlessly.
Generally, men are affected by this problem. The treatment of this condition requires the urethra to be widened. It can be done through surgeries or non-surgical methods by using a dilator.
The non-surgical method of this treatment demands using a medical instrument called a dilator to widen the urethra. It is considered an outpatient procedure. The patient is not required to get admitted to any healthcare provider or hospital. It is quite a simple procedure and does not require much time to perform.
At the beginning of the procedure, a small wire is passed through the urethra and goes into the bladder. This process is done to dilate the urethra. The width of the urethra increases eventually because of the continuous use of large dilators. A permanent urinary catheter replacement is another method of non-surgical mode which is used to treat critical cases of urethral stricture.
Generally, there are no medications to treat urethral stricture. This condition requires surgery and does not go away. The direct vision internal urethrotomy is an endoscopic method that inserts an endoscope into the urethra to check the stricture. After this, a tiny knife goes through the endoscope to cut the stricture so that the urethra is widened.
To reconstruct the urethra, after removing the tissues, open urethroplasty is done. Another procedure used to treat this condition is called the divergent urinary procedure. The flow of the urine is redirected permanently to an opening in the abdomen.
This procedure is only done when or if the bladder is severely affected, damaged, or if it is supposed to be removed. The urethrotomy cost in India (surgical method) is much more than that of the non-surgical method. However, one must consult their doctor for deciding which treatment would be suitable.
Causes of Urethral Stricture
There are several different causes for urethral stricture-
- Inflammation of the tissues or presence of scar tissues
- Cancer of the urethra or prostate
- Radiation therapy
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Injury or trauma to the pelvis or urethra
- Long term use of a catheter
If a person has recently undergone endoscopy where an instrument goes into the urethra, he is at a higher risk of developing scar tissues.
Urethrotomy Cost in India
Urethroplasty surgery cost is much less than dilation or urethrotomy. Urethrotomy treatment cost in India can go up to Rs. 5 lakhs, whereas the maximum cost of urethroplasty is Rs. 3 lakhs.
There are other alternatives to the treatment, such as clematis, a homeopathic treatment that can help cure urethral stricture in the early stages. It is a cheaper option for those who can’t afford to go through surgery.
Risks Associated with Urethrotomy
Like every other surgery or treatment, urethrotomy has its risks and complications. Several of those are-
- Risk of infection at the area of operation
- Risk-off infection in the urinary tract
- The possibility of the bursting of wound
- Recurrence of urethral stricture
- Bleeding and severe pain
- Allergy or rashes at the area of operation
Mostly the risk of recurrence is there, and hence a subsequent surgery is needed to be done. After the surgery is done, the patient might require the support of catheterization. In some cases, the stricture might return, but there is a possibility that no additional surgery would be required.
Urethral stricture causes obstruction, but they can be easily treated with urethrotomy or dilation most of the time. One will notice symptoms when the stricture is narrow enough to reduce urine flow. UTIs, swelling, or prostate infection can be seen among patients with this condition.
One must consult a doctor if they experience any such symptoms. Some people can’t afford the treatment as the cost of urethrotomy in India is relatively high. But it is essential to get it treated as some blockages that last for an extended period can damage the kidneys. Make sure to talk to the doctor extensively.