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Ultrasound-Guided Surgery Effectively Treats Paraurethral Duct Dilatation

Complete removal of the ducts led to recovery of treated patients.

By
Jill Sakai, Contributor
Thursday, June 7, 2018

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Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington via flickr

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The paraurethral ducts in males -- small, nonfunctional channels that run parallel to the urethra -- are prone to infection by gonococcal bacteria, which can cause redness and swelling of the tip of the penis. Although this infection can be easily treated with antibiotics, in some cases the duct opening fails to close, possibly due to structural changes in the tissue. This is known as paraurethral duct dilatation and can result in a harmless, but undesirable, secretion of liquid. Duct dilatation also leaves the ducts susceptible to infection by other pathogens.

A recent study in the American Journal of Men’s Health retrospectively evaluated the effectiveness of a wedge resection -- surgical removal of a small triangle of tissue -- to treat paraurethral duct dilatation in men after gonococcal infection. In 26 men treated at a Chinese hospital between January 1993 and December 2016, high-frequency ultrasound was used to visualize the extent and location of the paraurethral duct. An area extending about 1 millimeter on each side of the duct opening and the full depth of the duct (6 to 12 millimeters) was removed from the tip of the penis.

The surgical wounds healed in about two weeks, after which paraurethral duct dilatation was cured in 25 of the patients; the remaining patient recovered after a second wedge resection. No complications were reported from any of the surgeries. Although further analysis of the outcomes is limited by the retrospective nature of the study, the authors suggest that wedge resection guided by high-frequency ultrasound imaging is an effective and safe way to treat paraurethral duct dilatation resulting from gonococcal infection.