Mayo Clinic: Men’s Health Center


Procedures for male urethral stricture disease seek to determine the relative strength of the bladder and the how much the prostate is responsible for any urinary symptoms. These procedures can also help identify other causes of urinary symptoms such as urethral stricture (a fixed narrowing of the urinary tube).

Urinary flow test. You urinate into a receptacle attached to a machine that measures the strength and amount of your urine flow. Test results help determine over time if your condition is getting better or worse. It is important to have a full bladder and a strong urge to go for this test. On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is no urge and 10 is an accident will happen any moment, it is preferable to have an urgency to urinate of 8, 9 or 10.

Postvoid residual volume test. This test measures whether you can empty your bladder completely. The test can be done using ultrasound or by inserting a catheter into your bladder after you urinate to measure how much urine is left in your bladder.

Flow / Residual Urine (RU). This test combines the two previously described tests into one procedure.

Urocuff test. Similar to the urinary flow test, this test measures the strength of your stream as you urinate into a funnel. In addition, the patient places a small cuff at the base of his penis before beginning urination. As the patient urinates, the small cuff inflates and measures the average pressure of the bladder and the pressure to stop the urine flow. This may be slightly uncomfortable but should not be painful. On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is no urge and 10 is an accident will happen any moment, it is preferable to have an urgency to urinate of 8, 9 or 10. This test is considered a non-invasive form of urodynamics.

Urodynamics. In some cases, your doctor might order tests to assess how well your bladder, urethra and sphincter are functioning. This involves tests that measures pressure in your bladder and in the surrounding region as your bladder fills. Your doctor may recommend this test to check if the bladder has any function remaining. A catheter is used to fill your bladder slowly with warm fluid. As your bladder fills, you may be asked to cough or bear down to test for leaks. This procedure may be combined with a pressure-flow study, which tells how much pressure your bladder has to exert in order to empty completely.

Cystoscopy. This office test allows your doctor to examine the lining of your bladder and the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra). You'll be given a numbing medication to make you more comfortable during the exam. To perform the exam, your doctor inserts a hollow tube (cystoscope) equipped with a lens into your urethra and slowly advances the tube into your bladder. Cystoscopy can reveal a narrowing of the urethra where it passes through the prostate gland, indicating an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia). It is important that patients pay attention to how much discomfort they experience during cystoscopy. Those who tolerate the procedure well are much more likely to tolerate other office BPH treatment approaches.

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