How is contracture of the bladder neck diagnosed?
Several tests may be performed to detect whether a bladder neck contracture is present in men who are experiencing symptoms such as urinary retention or incontinence. A urologist may simply look inside with a small telescope in the office called cystoscopy. The cystoscope is a long thin instrument with a small lens and light at one end and an eyepiece at the other. After a local anesthetic is administered, the doctor passes the cystoscope through the urethra into the bladder. A liquid such as sterile water or saline (salt water) may be used to fill and stretch the bladder to provide a better view. The procedure usually can be completed in two minutes.
Alternatively, an X-ray study called a cystourethrogram may be ordered to detect whether there are any structural problems in the bladder or urethra. The test requires a thin flexible tube called a urinary catheter to be inserted into the bladder through the urethra. A liquid called a contrast material is introduced into the bladder via the catheter so that X-rays may be obtained while the bladder is full. If an X-ray is taken while the patient is urinating, it is called a voiding cystourethrogram.
If a bladder neck contracture is present, there are several treatment options.