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Meatal Stenosis

What Is Meatal Stenosis?

The meatus (mee-AY-tis) is the opening in a boy's 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 specializes in diagnosing and treating 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: 11-03-2019

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