Urethroplasty: Scar Tissue Repair of Urine Channel

Urethroplasty is the fixing of scar tissue in the urine channel from the bladder out the penis.  There are many surgeries possible to fix this and all work to increase the size of the urine channel to improve urine flow.

Catherter (drainage tube) care after surgery

A small tube (catheter) about the size of cooked spaghetti will be placed in the penis for 10 to 20 days after surgery to allow it to heal.  The tube should be kept clean and taped to the skin to prevent movement.  The catheter should be cleaned at least once daily with soap and water.  A small amount of antibiotic ointment should be put daily at the penis opening to keep the catheter from sticking.  It is common for a small amount of urine to come out around the catheter, especially during bowel movements.

Recovery Guidelines for Urethroplasty

Most patients recover fairly quickly after the procedure but the swelling from the surgery may take weeks to get better.  In general it is recommended to limit activity to basic needs until the penis drain (catheter) is removed.  Pain should improve in the first week after surgery.

We highly recommend the following guidelines to facilitate healing:

Ice Pack

Ice packs may be used to stop scrotal and perineal swelling after surgery especially in the first 48 hours.  Be sure not to leave the ice in direct contact with the skin for much time.


As mentioned, it is normal to have a scrotal swelling after surgery. Contact your surgeon if the swelling is severe (larger than a big orange) or if you are draining a large amount of fluid (soaking several pads per day).  Scrotal support in the form of a jock strap or tight underwear will help limit swelling.

Incision Drainage

A small amount of blood may stain the dressings for 72 hours after surgery. This problem will resolve on its own. For the first few days, by adding two or three gauze pads to the surgical site, you will aid the healing process and help keep your clothes clean.


You may begin to shower between 48-72 hours after surgery.  Allow the water to wash over the incision but do not scrub the incision.  Cover the taped portion of the catheter with saran wrap as well. Tub baths are not recommended in the first 7 days after surgery.  Swimming should be avoided during the first 2 weeks after surgery or until the catheter is removed.  Sitz baths are useful to decrease swelling and discomfort beginning about 7 days after surgery.


Stitches will dissolve and do not need to be removed.

Pain Medication

In general you will be sent home with a few days of pain medication.  Use this only as needed.  After 48 hours, most patients can take extra strength Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain.

Normal Activity

Most patients remain hospitalized for a day or two after surgery.  Patients should limit their activity for 2 weeks minimum after surgery, or until the catheter is removed. You are advised to wear a scrotal support (jock strap) for a week. You may return to work when comfortable, but you should limit heavy lifting (greater than 20 pounds) or any extended walking or running.  Be sure to ask your surgeon about any restrictions prior to discharge from the hospital.

Sexual Activity

This varies based on the type of surgery.  Most patients need to wait until at least most swelling has resolved.  Be sure to ask your surgeon about when you can resume sexual activity.

When to Notify the Physician

Contact your surgeon if the swelling is severe or if you are draining a large amount of fluid (soaking several pads per day). Other reasons to contact your surgeon after urethroplasty include worsening pain, increased redness or tenderness around the incision site, drainage looking like pus from the incision, or a fever of greater than 101.  If you notice the catheter is not draining, try changing positions or drinking more fluid.  If this does not work, please call the office.