Endoluminal and Endoscopic Management of Urethral Stricture

Main Article Content

Siu Yip Martin Mak
Wayne Lam
James Hok-Leung Tsu

Keywords

urethral stricture, urethral dilatation, optical urethrotomy, direct internal visual urethrotomy, endoscopy

Abstract

Background and Objective
Urethral stricture in the male population is one the oldest described urological condition. Significant vari-ability in clinical practice means that standardized management of urethral stricture remains controversial. Since the first description of modern-day direct visual internal urethrotomy (DVIU) by Sachse in 1974, this, alongside with various endoscopic treatment techniques, continues to be by far the most commonly performed procedures for the management of urethral strictures. This article aims to summarise and review the latest literature on endoscopic management of urethral strictures.



Material and Methods
We conducted a Pubmed and Medline search to identify publications related to endoscopic management of male urethral strictures between 1980 and 2019. Preference was given to recent and larger studies. Original research articles, review articles, abstracts, and opinion articles were included. Keywords used for the search were “male urethral stricture,” “urethrotomy,” “DVIU,” “urethral dilation,” “urethral stent”, “intermittent self-catheterisation”, “mitomycin C”, “steroids”, and “urethroplasty.”


Recent Findings
The long-term efficacy of endoscopic management of urethral stricture is poor. Recent novel advances with adjunct treatment have yet to demonstrate improvement in long-term treatment success. Repeated endoluminal or endoscopic treatments, especially for long and recurrent urethral strictures, are ineffective. They appear to delay patients from receiving definitive treatments, and potentially increase complexity and decrease the success rate of any future urethral reconstructive treatment.


Summary
There is overwhelming evidence to suggest limited long-term efficacy of endoluminal or endoscopic treat-ments for urethral stricture. Novel adjunctive therapies showed promising initial results, but none have yet to demonstrate durable efficacy. Endoscopic treatment of urethral stricture disease should only be reserved for patients who are not willing to undergo reconstructive surgery, or not fit for anesthetics.

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