How to say it: Ur-Re-Thrul Di-Lay-Shun
The urethra is a tube that passes urine out of the body. Urethral dilation opens a narrow urethra.
This procedure is done to allow urine to pass in people with:
These problems are more common in men.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Smoking can make problems worse and slow healing. Quitting before surgery can improve recovery.
You will need to:
You may be given anesthesia:
The urethra will be numbed. One of 2 methods will be used to widen the urethra:
The tools will be removed. A tube may be placed to help urine pass while you heal.
Anesthesia will prevent pain. There may be discomfort when tools are first put in. You may also have some discomfort when you pass urine in the next few days.
At the Care Center
You may be given pain medicine.
Most will return to normal activity by the next day.
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Urology Care Foundation
Canadian Urological Association
Common benign urologic conditions in men. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/common-benign-urologic-conditions-in-men. Accessed July 1, 2020.
Dilation treatment for urethral stricture. NYU Langone Health website. Available at: https://nyulangone.org/conditions/urethral-stricture-in-adults/treatments/dilation-treatment-for-urethral-stricture. Accessed July 1, 2020.
Urethral strictures. Beaumont website. Available at: https://www.beaumont.org/conditions/urethral-strictures. Accessed July 1, 2020.
What is meatal stenosis? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/meatal-stenosis. Accessed July 1, 2020.
What is urethral stricture? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/urethral-stricture-disease#Dilation. Accessed July 1, 2020.
Last reviewed July 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 7/1/2020