Benign Urethral Lesions in Children – Boys
Boys tend to get affected with certain disorders of the urine system from a young age. These are some of the benign lesions that are seen developing in male children during their formative years. Normally, young male children are able to urinate comfortably, with no pain caused by blockage or other problems.
What are the types of benign lesions commonly seen in boys?
These are some of the benign lesions that are seen to affect boys normally:
Urethral polyp forms at the time of birth of the male child usually. It is seen as a tissue covered small abnormal fibrous mass which consists of smooth muscles, small cysts or even nerve tissue in some cases.
In case your child is develops urethral polyps, hematuria (blood in urine) is normally seen along with urinating problems and symptoms similar to UTI (urinary tract infection). This can result in weak and infrequent flow of urine, stress while urinating along with painful and hesitant dribbling stream of urine. Cystoscopy is mostly used to diagnose this condition. This requires inserting a small fiber-optic viewing tube that allows the urologist to check the type of abnormal growth (or polyp). A VCUG (voiding cystourethrogram) may also be used for diagnosis which involves injecting a contrast dye before using x-ray imaging technology to view the inner functioning of the urinary system.
This condition causes the urethral opening at the tip of the penis to be abnormally small. This usually develops due to abnormal tissue growth and scarring at the tip of the penis. Circumcised male children are more prone to this condition than un-circumcised male children. Post-circumcision it is important to maintain cleanliness and excessive hygiene care to prevent this condition.
Other conditions that may cause meatal stenosis include prolonged urethral catheterization, hypospadias, previous surgery for correcting hypospadias, trauma as well as BXO (balanitis xerotica obliterans).
Symptoms that normally indicate meatal stenosis include:
Infrequent burning sensation while urinating
Abnormally narrow stream of urine
Misdirected urine stream
Blood spots in underwear
Unidentifiable urethral opening
Congenital urethral fistula
This is a comparatively rare condition and mostly develops when in the fetal stage during pregnancy which results in an additional opening between the penile skin and the urethral opening (fistula). This results in dual streams of urine while urinating. A physical examination is mostly performed to diagnose this condition.
Diverticulum of the anterior urethra
Diverticula (abnormal pouch-formation) in the lower urinary tract may be seen on any of the two sides of the bladder and the urethra. These abnormal masses cause an increase in the passage of the urethra. This is of two types:
Saccular – This is comparatively less severe and causes the diverticula to form in the floor of the urethra, resulting in weak urine stream as well as inflammation while urinating.
Megalourethra – This is more severe and affects the urethra all over. This is further classified as – scaphoid megalourethra where the corpus spongiosum is missing – fusiform, where the corpus spongiosum and the corpora cavernosa are missing. This causes the penis to take a spindle-shape when urinating.