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Meatal Stenosis

What Is Meatal Stenosis?

The meatus (mee-AY-tis) is the opening in the penis where the urine (pee) comes out. In meatal stenosis (mee-AT-ul steh-NO-sis), the meatus is too small.

Meatal stenosis happens when irritation causes a scar at the meatus. This makes the opening smaller. Irritation can come from rubbing against a diaper, an injury to the penis, or having a catheter (a plastic tube that lets the pee flow out of the body) in place for a long time. Meatal stenosis is more likely to happen in a boy who is circumcised.

A simple procedure can fix meatal stenosis. This makes the opening bigger so that the pee can come out normally.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Meatal Stenosis?

Meatal stenosis is usually noticed when a boy starts to toilet train and has trouble aiming his pee into the toilet. Meatal stenosis can cause a boy to:

  • pee upward
  • need to pee a lot
  • take a long time to get all the pee out

Sometimes a boy may feel burning when peeing and, rarely, may see a drop of blood in his underwear.

How Is Meatal Stenosis Diagnosed?

A health care professional will ask about symptoms and do an exam. If possible, the health care professional may watch a boy pee to see the direction of the stream. Usually, no other testing is needed.

How Is Meatal Stenosis Treated?

The treatment for meatal stenosis is called a meatoplasty(mee-AT-uh-plas-tee). This simple procedure makes the opening of the meatus bigger. It's done by a urologist, a doctor who diagnoses and treats problems with the urinary system.

Meatoplasty (also called meatotomy) fixes meatal stenosis for most boys. Simple home care will help your son heal after a meatoplasty. Talk to your health care professional if you have any questions.

Go to all follow-up visits with the urologist as recommended.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Call the doctor if your son:

  • has pain when peeing
  • is finding it harder to pee
  • can't pee

Reviewed by: T. Ernesto Figueroa, MD
Date Reviewed: Aug 11, 2023

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