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Trauma to the penis or a sexually transmitted disease can cause scar tissue to build up in the channel where urine passes. At UVA Health, you'll find experts who can remove this scar tissue and restore your ability to pee again. This procedure is known as urethroplasty. 

If you need this surgery, you'll be in expert hands at UVA Health. We have the skill to remove the blockage or even rebuild the urine channel in more severe cases.

After this surgery, most patients are able to go home the same day.  

Urethroplasty Procedure

Before the Procedure

Our urology team takes an X-ray of your urethra to locate the scar tissue. We may also evaluate your urinary track through a uroflow test (to measure the flow and force of your urine) or cystoscopy. 

Removing Scar Tissue from the Urethra

Scar tissue can block the flow of urine. At UVA, you can find relief with a urethroplasty. This removes or moves the tissue to enlarge the urine channel. Urologist Nicolas Ortiz, MD, explains the procedure and recovery process. View urethroplasty transcript.

After the Procedure

You can expect to stay in the hospital for 1-2 days after surgery. You'll have a small tube called a catheter inside you for 10-20 days so the area can drain as it heals. It's normal for urine to leak around the catheter, especially during bowel movements. 

If you notice your catheter isn't draining, change positions and drink more fluid. If this doesn't help, contact your care team. 

Your care team will show you how to keep the catheter clean and tape it to the skin so it doesn't move. Use antibiotic ointment at the penis opening daily to keep the catheter from sticking. 

You may experience mild pain, scrotal swelling and minor bleeding. Treat this by:

  • Wearing a jock strap or tight underwear
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication. Your doctor may also prescribe medication.
  • Using an ice pack
  • Avoiding sex
  • Wearing gauze over your dressing
  • Sitting in a bath with water up to your hips beginning a week after surgery

Will I Have a Scar?

Most procedures are performed through the perineum, the region between the scrotum and the penis. In some cases, it's necessary to cut the penis to use skin from it. Rarely, this can leave scar tissue on the outside of the penis.

Resuming Activities

Limit your activity for at least two weeks or until after your catheter is removed. You may return to work when you feel comfortable, but limit heavy lifting or any extended walking and running.

You may begin to shower 48-72 hours after surgery. You can get your incision wet, but don't scrub it. Avoid swimming for two weeks or until the catheter is removed.