Meatal stenosis is a narrowing of the opening of the urethra, on the glans or tip of the penis. The urethra is the tube through which urine leaves the body.
If your son has meatal stenosis, the opening (meatus) on the tip of his penis is very tight, which can make it difficult and often painful for him to urinate (pee). He may urinate with a deflected or small urinary stream.
In addition, it may take a very long time for him to finish urinating. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) may be more common, and even without an infection, your child may complain of burning or discomfort when urinating.
In order to make the opening on the penis larger so that your child can pee freely, your Nemours urologist will perform what’s called a meatotomy or meatoplasty, an outpatient operating room procedure that takes about a half an hour.
From Nemours' KidsHealth
- What Can I Do About My Child's Bedwetting?
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Related Conditions
- Kidneys and Urinary Tract
- Urine Test: Calcium
- Urine Test: Creatinine
- X-Ray Exam: Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG)
- Urine Test: Protein
- Urine Test: Dipstick
- Ultrasound: Renal (Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder)
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Urine Test: Dipstick
What It Is
A urine dipstick test is often done as part of an overall urinalysis, but it can also be done on its own, depending on the doctor's concerns. Once a urine sample is collected, a nurse or technician will place a specially treated chemical strip (dipstick) into your child's urine. Patches on the dipstick will change color to indicate the presence of such things as white blood cells, protein, or glucose.
Why It's Done
The results of a urine dipstick test may point to a diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney disease, diabetes, or a urinary tract injury. If test results are abnormal, other tests will be needed before a definite diagnosis can be made.
No preparation other than cleansing the area around the urinary opening is required for the urine dipstick test.
Your child will be asked to urinate into a clean sample cup in the doctor's office. If your child isn't potty trained and can't urinate into a cup, a catheter (a narrow, soft tube) may need to be inserted into the bladder to obtain the urine specimen.
The skin surrounding the urinary opening has to be cleaned and rinsed just before the urine is collected. In this "clean-catch" method, you or your child cleans the skin around the urinary opening with a special towelette. The child then urinates, stops momentarily, and then urinates again into the collection container. Catching the urine in "midstream" is the goal. Be sure to wash your hands and your child's hands after this process.
Once collected, the technician or nurse will then place the dipstick into the urine sample. Collecting the specimen should only take a few minutes.
What to Expect
Because the test involves normal urination; there shouldn't be any discomfort as long as your child can provide a urine specimen. It's important to keep the area around the urinary opening clean before the test and to catch the urine sample midstream.
Getting the Results
The results of the urine dipstick test will be available right away. If abnormalities are found, further urine tests will be needed. Talk to your child's doctor about the meaning of the specific test results.
No risks are associated with taking a urine dipstick test. If a catheterized specimen is required it may cause temporary discomfort and you can discuss any questions you have about this procedure with your healthcare provider.
Helping Your Child
The urine dipstick test is painless. Explaining how the test will be conducted, and why it's being done, can help ease your child's fear. Make sure your child understands that the urinary opening must be clean and the urine must be collected midstream.
If You Have Questions
If you have questions about the urine dipstick test, speak with your doctor.
Reviewed by: Yamini Durani, MD
Date reviewed: February 2012