What is meatal stenosis?
Meatal stenosis is a narrowing of the urethral meatus, which is the opening at the tip of the penis. If the opening becomes too narrow, difficulty with urination may exist.
Why come to Children's Hospital Colorado for treatment of this condition?
The professionals at Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado are dedicated to caring for kids. The members of the urology team are experts in pediatric urologic conditions and our surgeons are specialized in both pediatrics and urology. We strive to help patients and families feel educated about their condition, prepared for treatment and fully cared for by our urology team.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Symptoms of meatal stenosis are associated with a partially obstructed urinary stream and include pain or burning with urination, urinary urgency or frequency, a stream that sprays or is difficult to aim and occasionally drops of blood at the tip of the penis once urination is complete.
How do you diagnose it?
Upon physical exam, a small or narrowed urethral opening is seen. Occasionally, the provider will want to observe the child’s urinary stream for evidence of spraying or deflection.
How is it treated?
A surgical procedure called a meatotomy is the most reliable form of treatment. This procedure involves an incision to enlarge the meatus or opening, which can be performed in clinic or in the operating room depending on the degree of stenosis. Recurrence after this procedure is rare, as long as appropriate after care is given by the parent.
Who gets it and can it be prevented?
Meatal stenosis is most commonly associated with circumcision. This is usually a result of the newly exposed skin of the penis rubbing against the diaper, causing chronic irritation and resulting in scarring and then narrowing of the meatus. Stenosis can also occur after a hypospadias repair, but this risk is low (4%). Injury to the tip of the penis, inflammatory conditions, and prolonged use of urinary catheters can increase the risk of this condition as well.
When should I seek medical attention?
If your child shows any of the signs or symptoms described above, please consult your primary care physician for referral.