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Meatal Stenosis

Meatal stenosis is a condition that affects boys, particularly boys who have been circumcised. Meatal stenosis is the narrowing of the opening at the tip of the urethra through which urine passes. The meatus refers to this opening and stenosis means narrowing.

In some boys, particularly following circumcision, scar tissue forms around the tip of the penis, causing a narrowing of the urethral opening. If the narrowing is pronounced, your son may experience an abnormal urine stream (urine may flow upward toward the ceiling due to the narrowed urethral opening, for example) or difficulty passing urine. Some boys have difficulty emptying their bladder completely, which may lead to a urinary tract infection.

Symptoms of Meatal Stenosis

Boys with meatal stenosis may have some of the following symptoms:

  • An abnormal urine stream which can include spraying or urination upward or toward the ceiling; in older boys, difficulty aiming the urine stream into the toilet may be noticed.
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Straining to urinate
  • Painful urination

Treating Meatal Stenosis

  • In some cases, a pediatric urologist may prescribe a steroid cream to be applied to the tip of your son’s penis which can help widen the urethral opening in certain circumstances.
  • In cases of more significant meatal stenosis, if surgical treatment is necessary, a pediatric urologist will perform what is called a meatoplasty, a brief outpatient surgery to widen the urethral opening.