What is Meatal Stenosis?

By Kristin Wellman, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC

As a nurse practitioner at Georgia Urology’s Help Awaiting Wet Kids (HAWK) Clinic, I spend my day seeing kids with voiding problems. A common concern with boys that come to our office is difficulty with urination or an abnormal urinary stream. There are several reasons this can happen, one of which is meatal stenosis, or a narrow urethral opening. My goal today is to briefly provide a definition for meatal stenosis, common causes, and treatment options available within our practice.

Definition

Meatal stenosis is a narrowing of the urethral meatus or opening at the tip of the penis in boys after circumcision.

Symptoms

  • Urine spraying, or deflected urinary stream.
  • Irritative voiding symptoms such as frequent urination, urgency, or burning with urination.
  • Urethral bleeding.
  • A high pressure, thin urinary stream.

Common Causes

  • Repetitive inflammation and injury to the tip of the penis, usually caused by rubbing from the diaper.

Diagnosis

  • To diagnose meatal stenosis, one of our providers may ask to see your child’s urinary stream by watching them void.
  • Sometimes a special test called a “uroflow” will help in the diagnosis. This test looks at the urine flow rate and is done by having your child urinate into a special toilet.

Treatment Options

  • Meatal stenosis is corrected with a short surgery, called a meatoplasty.
  • This is performed in the operating room under anesthesia. The purpose is to make the urethral meatus larger, allowing urine to pass more freely.

If you are concerned your child may be experiencing these urinary symptoms, make an appointment with one of our Nurse Practitioners for further evaluation. Plan to have your child arrive with a full bladder as we will need to witness your child void if toilet trained.

References