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Stricture Definition

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Updated May 27, 2010

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Photo: © Harrison Eastwood/Getty Images
Definition: A stricture is an abnormal narrowing of a passage in the body. The most common type of strictures are esophageal strictures (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) and urethral strictures (the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out of the body.

A stricture can be caused by surgery, by treatments such as radiation, or they can happen spontaneously.

The narrowing of a stricture can be annoying or life-threatening. It can make it difficult to urinate, eat or even digest food, depending upon the location of the stricture.

Treatments for strictures vary. In some cases, dilation of the narrowed passage can be done on an outpatient basis, essentially stretching the tissue. For more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to dilate or even remove the area of narrowing.

Also Known As: strictures, urethral stricture, esophageal stricture, intestinal stricture, stenosis, ureteral stricture, bowel stricture, biliary stricture,
Common Misspellings: strickture, stricure, strictore, strictur,
Examples:
The man's prostate surgery caused a urethral stricture, which made urination difficult.
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