Lower Urinary tract obstruction refers to a condition of hindrance to urinary flow from bladder outwards. This can occur in all the age groups and affect either sex. The symptoms can be poor urine flow, intermittent flow, straining to pass urine or empty bladder, sense of incomplete emptying of bladder, difficulty in starting urination. Other problems can be increased urine frequency and difficulty to hold on with or without occasional urine leak in clothes. The cause and treatment vary in different age groups.
Few common reasons behind Lower urinary Tract Obstruction:
Congenital Urethral Stricture and PUV: These defects can be detected either before or after birth and need correction at earliest to avoid long-term complications. It is usually brought to attention by parents who observe abnormal urine flow pattern of their child OR found out during evaluation for repeated urinary tract infections.
Neurogenic Bladder: This is caused due to defects of nerves that are responsible for controlling bladder function. This can be due to diseases of brain, spinal cord or peripheral nerves. These defects can occur by birth or later in life. It is very important to take early consult to avoid long-term complications and progression to renal failure.
Urethral Stricture: This is narrowing in a long tube that starts from bladder to the external urinary opening. It can be idiopathic, post-traumatic, or due to urethral infections. Usually, a person is able to recognise poor urine flow and bring it to the attention of urologist. Treatment for stricture depends on various factors and range from simple endoscopic surgery to open surgeries.
Bladder Neck Obstruction: Bladder neck is a network or a group of muscles that connect the bladder to the urethra. The muscles tighten to hold urine in the bladder, and relax as they release it through the urethra. Urinary tract obstruction occurs when there are abnormalities blocking the bladder neck that restricts its opening during urination.
BPH: This occurs due to enlarged prostate obstruction urine flow out of bladder. Prostate enlargement is mostly age-related and rarely due to prostatic tumors. Urinary stones. This can be usually recognized by sudden obstruction to urine flow in person who was voiding normally. These episodes might be recurrent due to movement of stone in between bladder and urethra.
Bladder Tumors: The are mostly characterized by blood in urine. Sometimes there might be blood clots that obstruct the urine flow. Phimosis: Usually occurring post-puberty, it is referred to as the inability to retract the glans (the sensitive structure at the end of the penis). It is a condition in which the distal foreskin, which was previously retractable, is unable to retract anymore.
Phimosis: Phimosis is another major reason behind urinary tract obstructions.