Urethral Diverticulum

Overview • Symptoms • Causes • Diagnosis • Treatment • Risks 

Overview

A urethral diverticulum is a variably sized pocket or outpouching that forms next to the urethra.  Because it most often connects to the urethra, it may repeatedly fill with urine during the act of urination leading to symptoms. 

Symptoms

Some diverticula do not have symptoms. The classis symptoms of a urethral diverticulum are post void dribbling, dyspareunia (pain with intercourse), and dysuria (pain with urination).  Symptoms, however, vary widely depending on the location and size of the diverticulum. 

Causes

The leading theory is repeated infections of the periurethral glands with subsequent infection evolving into urethral diverticula. 

Diagnosis

A pelvic MRI gives us the best information to diagnose and plan for repair of the diverticulum.  Your evaluation will also include a pelvic exam and possibly, a cystoscopy. 

Treatment

The best option for treatment is to excise the diverticulum (urethral diverticulectomy). A urethral diverticulectomy is a surgical procedure in which, via an incision in your vagina, we remove the urethral diverticulum.  The goals of the surgery are to remove as much of the diverticulum as possible in order to improve your symptoms.

What are the risks?

Cure rates are good, however, there are some risks that are associated with the procedure.  The risks of the surgery include incomplete removal of the diverticulum, leakage of urine after the surgery (stress incontinence), fistula formation (an abnormal connection between the urethra and the vagina) and stricture (scar) formation in addition to the usual risks of surgery.