Urethral stricture is an abnormal narrowing of the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder. It may be caused by inflammation or scar tissue from surgery, disease or injury, or rarely, from an enlarging tumor near the urethra.

The high rate of cure for urethroplasty in treating urethral stricture makes it the procedure of choice in many cases. In urethroplasty, the urologic surgeon formally reconstructs the urethra with either skin or tissue from the lining of the mouth, creating a “new” urethra. Success rates are excellent, and the results are durable.

Despite this, few urologists have continuing experience with urethroplasty surgery. In a recent nationwide survey of practicing urologists, only 40% of urologists performed any urethroplasties in the prior year, and only 0.9% performed more than 11 that same year. As a regional referral center, Washington University urologists perform well over 50 urethroplasties per year.