Meatal stenosis

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Overview

Meatal stenosis is a narrowing of the opening of the urethra, the hole at the tip of the penis through which urine leaves the body.

Who gets it

Meatal stenosis affects only circumcised males. The cause is thought to be related to irritation (inflammation) after a newborn is circumcised. This leads to abnormal tissue growth and scarring across the opening of the urethra. The problem is usually not found until the child is toilet trained.

Signs & symptoms

The symptoms most often present after toilet training with an abnormal urine stream-one that usually shoots upward. Less common symptoms include blood in the urine, discomfort with urination, incontinence or urinary tract infection.

Treatment

The treatment is a minor surgical procedure called meatoplasty. This procedure can be done in the clinic with local pain medication or the child can be asleep for the procedure (general anesthesia) based on surgeon and family preference.

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your child's doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your child's provider.

Where to get care (1)

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