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Direct Vision Internal Urethrotomy(DVIU; Endoscopic Internal Urethrotomy)

Pronounced: direct vision internal you-REE-thra-tah-me


Direct vision internal urethrotomy (DVIU) is a surgery to repair a narrowed section of the urethra. This is referred to as a stricture. The urethra is the tube through which urine passes from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Reasons for Procedure

Urethral stricture is due to scarring of the urethra. This scarring may be caused by infection or injury. DVIU cuts through the scar tissue and opens the urethra.

Male Urethra

si55550234_male urethra

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Urethral stricture can result in:

  • Prostate problems in men
  • Infections of the bladder , ureters, which are tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to bladder, or kidneys
  • Inability to urinate or empty the bladder completely
Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Pain when urinating
  • Damage to urethra
  • Recurrent stricture
  • Need for more procedures
  • Penis pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Bleeding disorders or taking medications that reduce blood clotting
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

What to Expect
Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history
  • Order imaging, blood, and urine tests
  • Talk about the anesthesia being used and its potential risks

Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 10 days before the procedure.

In the days leading up to the procedure:

  • Take a shower before the procedure as directed.
  • Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
  • Do not take anything by mouth starting 8 hours before your procedure. Ask the doctor how you should take your regular medications on the morning of your procedure.

General or spinal anesthesia will be used. It will block any pain and keep you asleep or sedated through the surgery.

Description of the Procedure

After you are asleep, a special tube called a cystoscope will be placed in your urethra to locate the stricture. Next, the DVIU scope will be placed into your urethra. A special tool will be used to cut away the scar tissue inside your urethra to make it wider. The scar tissue may be removed by cutting or using a laser or heat source. After the tissue is removed, the urethra and bladder area will be examined.

How Long Will It Take?

About 30 minutes

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Ask your doctor about medication to help with the pain.

Average Hospital Stay

You will be able to go home the same day in most cases.

Post-procedure Care
At the Care Center
  • You will be monitored while you recover from the anesthesia.
  • You will be given food and encourage to begin moving around.
  • You will be given pain medication.
  • A catheter will be placed temporarily after the procedure. A catheter is a tube placed through the urethra to the bladder to empty it.
At Home

When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Care for your catheter as directed. The catheter may need to remain in place from a few days to 2 weeks. Your doctor may ask you to insert a catheter a few times a week to keep the scar tissue from closing again.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects for 2 weeks.
  • Do have sex until your doctor says it is okay.
  • Follow all your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Increasing pressure or pain
  • Catheter does not drain properly
  • Difficulty passing urine after catheter is taken out
  • Changes in frequency or volume of urine
  • Signs of infection, including fever or chills
  • Excess blood in urine

If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Urology Care Foundation


Canadian Urological Association

Health Canada


Cystoscopy with internal urethrotomy. Cleveland Urology Associates website. Available at: Accessed January 12, 2015.

Direct vision internal urethrotomy. Flint Urology website. Available at: Accessed January 12, 2015.

Direct visual internal urethrotomy (DVIU) home care after surgery. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics website. Available at: Updated August 2013. Accessed January 12, 2015.

Last reviewed January 2015 by Adrienne Carmack, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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