Why Meatal dilatation?
The urethral meatus is the opening of the urethra. This can become narrowed for various reasons, and may need dilatation (stretching) to improve urine flow.
How is this performed?
This small procedure can be done under local or general anaesthetic. For local anaesthetic, a small amount of local anaesthetic jelly is applied, and the opening is gently stretched with metal or plastic dilators. The operation is the same under general anaesthetic, but this does allow a greater stretch as there is no discomfort during the procedure.
After the initial dilatation, it is common to need occasional repeat dilatations, and these can be performed with a specially designed plastic device by the patient. If this is necessary, you will be shown how to do it.
After the operation
You will be able to go home the same day. It is usual to experience some mild discomfort afterwards, but this should pass very quickly.
What are the risks of this operation?
All procedures have the potential for side effects. Although these complications are well recognised, the majority of patients do not have problems after a procedure.
Risks of the anaesthetic need to be discussed with the anaesthetist who will be looking after you during the operation, and who will visit you beforehand.
There are specific risks with this surgical procedure, and these will be discussed with you before your procedure. As a guide to complement that one-on-one discussion with your surgeon, these include:
- Mild discomfort, usually with urination. This should pass quickly.
- Occasionally, patients have a small amount of bleeding afterwards, which should pass very quickly.
- Infection in the urine requiring antibiotics
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.