What is urethral diverticulum?
Symptoms of this condition
Causes of UD
The exact cause of a UD is unknown. However, several conditions may be linked to UD. These include:
• multiple infections that weaken the uterine wall
• urethral glands that become blocked
• birth defect
• trauma that occurred during childbirth
The symptoms for UD are the same or similar to several other medical conditions. So it isn’t unusual for a proper diagnosis of UD to take some time. You may also be treated unsuccessfully for other conditions before a UD is considered and correctly diagnosed.
To get a correct diagnosis of UD, your doctor may use the following diagnostic tests and exams:
• physical exam
• examination of your health history
• urine tests
• endoscopic exam of the bladder and urethra, which involves placing a thin tube with a camera on the end, called an endoscope, into your bladder and urethra
• MRI scan
• ultrasound scan
Your doctor will start with a physical exam, your health history, and your symptoms. If these show signs that you may have a UD, your doctor will do additional testing and imaging to confirm a diagnosis.
Surgery is the primary treatment for UD. However, you may not want or need surgery initially. You and your doctor may determine that your symptoms and the size of your UD don’t make surgery immediately necessary.
If no surgery is required, your doctor will want to monitor your UD regularly to make sure it isn’t getting larger and to treat your symptoms as they occur. You will also want to monitor your symptoms and inform your doctor of any that are new or are getting worse. Your UD may eventually require surgery, however.
UD is best treated through surgery. Your UD surgery should be performed by an experienced, specialized urologist because it’s an intricate procedure in a sensitive area.
There are three options for UD surgery. These surgery options are:
• cutting open the neck of the UD
• opening the sac permanently into the vagina
• completely removing the UD — most common option, also called diverticulectomy
During surgery, several additional procedures should be done to prevent the UD from returning. These additional procedures include:
• closing the diverticular neck, which connects to the opening of the urethra
• completely removing the lining of the sac
• performing a multilayered closure to keep a new opening from forming later
If you’re having issues with urinary incontinence, your doctor may be able to also correct this during your UD surgery with a procedure that will stop the leaking. Approximately 60 percent of those with UD will also have some type of urinary incontinence.