Meatal stenosis

Norton Children’s Urology staff physicians in Louisville are fellowship trained in pediatric and adolescent urology specialty care. They have the expertise to treat your child’s meatal stenosis.

We have state-of-the-art equipment that is unavailable elsewhere in Louisville and Southern Indiana. We also are able to provide sedation. Our specialists bring skill, respect and sensitivity to caring for your child’s urological needs.

What is meatal stenosis?

In boys, the meatus is the opening through which urine passes at the tip of the penis. Meatal stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of that opening.

The condition may develop at any time during childhood but generally occurs between the ages of 3 and 7.

Causes

Meatal stenosis occurs when irritation leads to abnormal tissue growth or scarring at the tip of the penis, where urine exits. The condition is a common complication of circumcision (the surgical removal of the foreskin at the tip of the penis). It rarely occurs in uncircumcised boys.

Other causes include:

  • Irritation caused by a baby’s penis rubbing against a diaper or clothing
  • Exposure to wet diapers
  • Use of catheters (tubes used to drain urine)

Signs and symptoms

Boys with meatal stenosis typically have a narrow or abnormally directed urine stream.

Other symptoms include:

  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Trouble fully emptying the bladder
  • A urine flow that sprays
  • Difficulty aiming urine into the toilet
  • Small amounts of blood in urine

If meatal stenosis is not fixed, it can become increasingly difficult to urinate. It may cause urinary tract infections and kidney problems.

Meatal stenosis diagnosis

A physical exam will help us determine if meatal stenosis is present. This may include observing the urine stream, assessing the rate of urine flow and measuring the width of the meatus.

Meatal stenosis treatment

Norton Children’s Urology staff physicians will work with you to assess the severity of your child’s condition and determine the best treatment.

The surgical procedure for correcting meatal stenosis is called a meatotomy. This is the most common treatment. It involves making a small slit to increase the size of the meatus. This may be done in the office using a local anesthetic, or in the operating room under general anesthesia.

After meatotomy, pain relievers and warm baths usually are sufficient to reduce discomfort.

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Information on conditions unique to girls and young women can be found at
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