Optilume as a new treatment method for urethral stricture
What is a urethral stricture?
A urethral stricture is a scarred constriction in the urethra. It is most commonly caused by infections and direct injuries (such as from previous urological surgeries). This scarring leads to problems with urination (weakened urine stream, straining during urination, residual urine) up to the inability to empty the bladder completely or partially.
Increased urge to urinate or frequent nocturnal urination may also occur. Living with a urethral stricture can greatly limit daily life, and quality of life suffers. If left untreated, a urethral stricture can lead to infections, bladder and kidney damage, or infertility.
Optilume is a new treatment method for urethral stricture
Treating a urethral stricture alternatively is possible with Optilume technology through a minor procedure. It is a minimally invasive, quick, and gentle method compared to urethroplasty with one’s own oral mucosa or Mucocell or even urethrotomy. CUROS, your urological centre in the Cologne/Bonn area, offers the innovative Optilume method as one of only very few practices in all of Europe (as of May 2023).
Effective treatment with the Optilume method achieves immediate symptom relief. Moreover, it achieves a permanent cure of the urethral stricture in over three-quarters of all those treated.
This is how the inflated and Paclitaxel-coated Optilume-Balloon looks like.
How is the alternative treatment of a urethral stricture with Optilume performed?
The treatment with the Optilume procedure is carried out on an outpatient basis, if desired under short anaesthesia. The surgeon inserts a small elongated balloon, which is coated with a drug, into the patient’s urethra. This is placed at the urethral stricture and gently inflated, thereby dilating the constriction.
At the same time, Paclitaxel, the name of the drug on the balloon surface, ensures that new scar formation is prevented (1). With preparation and follow-up, the entire treatment only takes half an hour.
The process of a treatment with Optilume
What experiences are there for treatment with Optilume?
A study certifies a high success rate: In direct comparison to conventional methods, 80 percent of all patients treated with Optilume had no recurrent urethral stricture one year after the procedure, in contrast to the control group. In this group, all patients who were treated with previous methods suffered from a recurrent urethral stricture after one year (7).
Even three years after the Optilume treatment, current literature documents the absence of a recurrent stricture in 77 percent of all cases and a sustained improvement in urine flow (6).
Who is the treatment with the new Optilume Method suitable for?
For patients with a first-time urethral stricture.
For patients with a previously treated and recurrent urethral stricture.
For patients who desire a minimally invasive procedure with immediate relief of symptoms.
For patients who reject a procedure under anaesthesia or for whom anaesthesia is not possible.
Does my health insurance cover the treatment with the Optilume method?
Private health insurance usually covers the costs of the procedure. Unfortunately, the statutory health insurance does not yet cover the costs of the procedure. In individual cases, an application can be made to the statutory health insurance.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions about the treatment costs (see Contact options below).