Meatal Stenosis

Soon after Brittlynn was born Kye started having potty issues. Honestly, Zach and I both thought it was for attention and that he was doing the typical regression thing we’d heard about when children welcome in a new sibling. Kye has been using the potty since he was 18 months old. He’s been completely potty trained, night and day, since around two years old. In January he started going to the bathroom more frequently and started having occasional accidents. We dealt with it the best we could, we didn’t punish him. We took him to the potty whenever he asked to go (including the MANY times at naps and night) and just changed his clothes whenever an accident occurred.

It seemed to get more and more frequent and I began to notice that he wasn’t only doing it at times where he might be wanting attention. We were watching a movie and he got up and went potty, on his own, four times in less than an hour. That doesn’t make sense. My first thought was UTI. Zach took him to the dr and although he tested negative for a UTI, his symptoms fit so they treated him for one.

He went through 10 days on antibiotics and it seemed to get a little better, but not really. Since then it has only continued. He will go potty then turn around and have to go potty again. It’s like he doesn’t fully empty his bladder. He’ll sit for a long time and still have to go again. He’ll have little accidents like a little squirt in his underwear, not even soaking through to the pants. I asked school and they said he does ask to go potty more often than he used to. It’s affecting his nights and naps as he now typically wakes up at least once in the night yelling out that he has to go potty. He will go at least three times before settling down for his nap and will often wake up during the nap and have to go. We couldn’t help but think it was a behavior issue. We even made him wear pull-ups one night (poor kid was SO upset) because we were at a loss of how else to handle it. We thought if we put him back in diapers that he might realize he couldn’t keep getting up to go potty over and over for attention (that particular night it was 9:30 and he was still not asleep due to using the potty so often).

It felt like he was doing it to act out, but that is so not a typical Kye way to behave. I decided that I’d ask the dr about it during Britt’s check up.  I really hesitated asking. A BIG part of me didn’t want to hear that he was acting out because I didn’t want to have to start punishing him for the behavior. We are already pretty strict on the discipline and I didn’t want the poor kid to start adding up the spankings. After we asked all the questions about Britt, I just casually asked her about Kye. She immediately told me to pull down his pants so she could see it. Right away she said his little tee-tee hole is too small.

I took Kye to the potty to have him give them a sample while Britt got her shots and Kelly said they would refer us to a specialist. She said he may need an out patient procedure to correct the problem. Awesome. We went to the doctor for Brittlynn and left worrying about Kye instead. Not what I had planned!

We went this past Wednesday to the specialist. It’s about a 45 minute drive to Tifton. Zach took off the morning to go with us and Mrs. Charlotte came to the house to watch Brittlynn. After sitting for over an hour and a half waiting to be seen, the doctor pretty much just looked at Kye’s private and said we needed to schedule the surgery. I was thrown off guard. To be honest, I hadn’t done a single bit of research prior to the appointment. I deal with scary stuff by living in denial. I didn’t really want to think about it and it was pretty easy to “forget” about since we had Kye’s big party, birthday, and I got the stomach bug.

I had ZERO questions prepared. My mind totally skipped over something being wrong with him and jumped to the surgery. I asked a bunch of random questions about that. About how long he’d be under, how long it would last, what the healing time would be etc. I never ONCE thought to ask the obvious questions: what caused this? what is it even called? how common is it? is surgery really necessary? what would happen if we didn’t do the surgery?

The doctor didn’t tell us much. He did say that it was a really good find by Kelly and that most people never notice this issue with kids this young but since Kye was fully potty trained so young that’s why we realized it. He also said we need to have a bunch more kids because we’re doing such a good job. Nice to hear, but I wish he would have focused more on telling me what is up with my kids junk than complimenting me and (as Zach later told me) staring at my chest.

We were ushered into another office to schedule the appointment. It all felt like it was happening too fast. They wanted to do it THIS Monday! Um no. I need TIME to process this!!! We scheduled the appointment for Monday morning April 2nd. He is out of school that week so I figured that’d be the best time plus it’s the day after we get back from Casey’s wedding so I won’t feel so bad needing Mrs. Charlotte’s help. Again, we were quickly ushered in to talk about insurance with another lady. She said that our deductible for Kye will be more than met for the year with this surgery…which means it’s going to cost MORE than $5,000 out of our pockets. Are you kidding?!? Literally the doctor told us he will walk in, slice the hole bigger, and walk out. It’s less than a five minute long surgery. He said we’ll go in early that morning and be home by lunch. For that much dough. And we were SO happy to be done with medical bills after Zach’s back…

Kye behaved BEAUTIFULLY at the appointment. We rode through Zaxby’s on the way home and got home in time for his nap. Zach and I didn’t handle the discussion that well. I am a nervous wreck about it. Thinking about Kye being put under freaks me out. The thought of seeing him in a hospital freaks me out. I don’t do well with those types of things and I myself have never experienced anything close to this. Zach was blown away by the money figure and couldn’t really focus much past that. Typical man and woman huh?

Zach called a distant family member who is a surgeon to discuss it with him and he said that he went to school with the guy in Tifton and that if he said he needs it done then he needs it. I have put in two calls now to Dr. Griner’s office. I understand he probably needs it done but I don’t like that I didn’t get to REALLY discuss it with the doctor on a level where I feel fully comfortable doing this. I especially don’t like going back and forth to Tifton. We have a hospital here. One that we are comfortable with, one where Kye has been before (when Britt was born). I would much rather be 10 minutes from home than 45 minutes. It’s silly to me that we have to go up there and I am hoping Dr. Griner’s office can refer us to someone local. That way I can get a second opinion and hopefully have it all done here, if needed.

I’ve done more research the past couple of days and have found out it’s called Meatal Stenosis. It’s actually caused from circumcision. Which is ironic seeing as my father discouraged us having Kye circumcised to begin with! From what I have read it happens when the penis is healing from circumcision and rubs against the diaper and causes scar tissue. It is the narrowing of the opening of the urethra and the symptoms of it are abnormal strength and direction of urine stream, bed wetting, bleeding at end of urination (Kye doesn’t have this thank the Lord!), discomfort with urination (not this either), straining with urination, incontinence, visible narrow opening.  It said most boys with this issue have to sit down to urinate because their stream will shoot upwards…which Kye’s does (we haven’t taught him to stand yet anyway though so it hasn’t been an issue). To fix the problem all they will do is cut his tee-tee hole a little bigger. Healing time is a couple of days and there are no stitches or anything.

So far in my research I can’t find anything about the long-term effects of having meatal stenosis or what would happen if it were left untreated. I also can’t find how common it is. Right now we’re keeping the appointment in Tifton and waiting to hear from Dr. Griner’s regarding another referral. We’re praying and being patient, waiting to make the final call when we feel we know what is best for Kye. I’d appreciate your help in those prayers as we make this decision. I’m pretty sure we WILL be having him get the surgery (as it makes sense to do this while he is young rather than wait it out and it be more traumatic for him in some way) but I’m hopeful we can find a way to do it locally and in a situation where we understand everything better.

I will, of course, keep everyone posted as we learn more and as we decide what to do! Thank you for the prayers and if ANY of you have experienced this in any capacity I’d love to hear your story and any advice or insight! Thanks!!!


  1. Jessica Guess
    March 11, 2012 / 3:45 am

    Emily, Tift Regional is a great hospital. I had Sophie there and she had her tubes put in there. They get the children done first thing and they are so good with them. I know it would be better closer to home, but if it can't, then TRMC is where I would want to be. Good luck!

  2. Anonymous
    March 11, 2012 / 4:21 am

    Ashton had a very similar surgery when he was 1. We used Dr. Sule here in Valdosta. He was great. It never slowed Ash down at all. Susie

  3. Christi
    March 11, 2012 / 5:03 pm

    My husband had this and surgery was when he was much older. Good for you being so on the ball. No lasting effects for my husband except remembering the surgery.

  4. Robyn
    March 11, 2012 / 5:53 pm

    We're still praying for you guys about this! I really think that a second opinion (especially here in town) is a great idea. It NEVER hurts to get a second opinion – even if they give you the same answer!

  5. Katie R.
    March 11, 2012 / 6:06 pm

    My husband had this surgery as a child too. No problems at all from it. 

  6. Michelle
    March 11, 2012 / 6:57 pm

    OH, and there really is very little recovery.  At five years old, he doesn't remember the surgery a bit. 

  7. Aysa
    March 12, 2012 / 1:38 am

    First I want to say I love reading your blog and enjoy reading your opinion on things:) I think if the surgery is necessary you should have it done. But, $5000 does seem overly expensive. If I were you I would see if the procedure can be done in the office which should cut down on the cost.  My husband had to have a procedure done for urinary stricture which could be done in the office. I would also recommend a second opinion. A different doctor might recommend an office procedure instead of outpatient.  As a mom we are always nervous about our kids having to have surgery, but I'm sure Kye will be just fine.

  8. Rachael_Copponex
    March 16, 2012 / 2:21 am

    Where's the picture?? HAHATwo things… I keep looking at Bradys and thinking… Is this going to cost me $5,000?  and then I think, holy crap I need to get my face away from that thing he might pee on me.

  9. Rachael_Copponex
    March 16, 2012 / 2:23 am

    On a serious note, I do think you need a second opinion and if he does have the surgery call me- I want to tell you about how it was for Macy when she went under.

  10. jonesfamilyvb
    March 18, 2014 / 5:15 pm

    I could hug you for posting this and the follow up. I literally just returned from doctor with the same diagnosis. Our stories are almost identical!!! I of course instantly started to freak out. I too panicked and failed to ask obvious questions. Your post has put me at ease!!!!! How is Kye since its been a year since his surgery? Any recurrence? They said my son would get stitches. I just feel terrible and so sorry for him. I don't recall the docs talking about this being a side effect from circumcision. Just so upset. Again, thank you soooooo much for sharing your journey!

  11. Stephanie Lilys-Mama Herring
    March 24, 2014 / 10:18 pm

    If it was caused by circumcision then why are you still for circumcision knowing that your child had to have ANOTHER surgery because you didn't think your son was perfect when he was born?

  12. Dontmakethesamemistake
    March 24, 2014 / 10:36 pm

    So…. You are still on board with circumcision though it caused your first son complications that required further surgeries to correct it? Have you done ANY research at all? Do you sincerely see your children as human beings to be protected, loved, and coveted like the priceless gems they are, or simply as property that you feel you need to "fix" to your obscene idea of "perfection"? Are you aware that 117 baby boys DIE per year from circumcision? Is it worth the gamble? What will you say if you have another son and he DIES from your decision forced upon him? Will you consider holding a dead baby "God's work" since you see it as a religious necessity to honor your god? Its not worth the risk. The bible, the new testament forbids circumcision, Jesus teaches his followers that all of his children are created in his image and are perfect, why go against the word of god and cut your child's perfectly healthy valuable body part off? They feel the pain, they feel the sorrow and betrayal being strapped down stripped of the protection they thought they'd be provided going earth side. Its irreversible, the pain and hurt stays locked away in their brain's forever, and as you have found it creates life long issues and the need for more surgeries. Whatever fantasy you're living where you think cutting up a baby's genitals is okay by your God, and by social standards, you need to wake up. Save your future sons, and think of a way to break down and apologize to the son you already have for causing him pain and taking something from him he can never get back. I am a "regret mom". I hurt my first son with circumcision, I know better now, and will leave future sons intact, the way nature, and any GOD intended males to be. Don't hurt any more babies, that's all you are doing, is HURTING them. There is no good, there are no benefits, and there is no bible or God telling you that this needs to be done to innocent non-consenting children.

  13. Jackie
    March 24, 2014 / 11:06 pm

    I'm confused. I don't normally hear Muslims and Jews says "thank the Lord" (they say thank Allah or a Hebrew praise instead) yet you had your son circumcised? I note that in the USA, a lot of people professing to be Christians pick and choose which parts of the bible they will follow. Please tell me you're not such a person – wouldn't it be an insult to God? After all, the New Testament speaks against circumcision in all these places: Acts 15:1-11, Galatians 5:2, Philippians 3:2-3, Titus 1:10-11, Galatians 5:6, and 1 Corinthians 7:17-18. I suppose the "silver lining" for want of a better phrase is that you have seen some of the harm circumcision can cause and won't do it to your future sons.

  14. Jackie
    March 24, 2014 / 11:10 pm

    Edit: I've just noticed you say you will still do it to your son? What the heck? Why would you harm him rather than let him choose, especially after this experience? Almost all men who are not circumcised at birth don't have it done later as there is no need to. As I am a committed Christian, I will refrain from saying what my head wants to say, but you can not even use the excuse of not knowing what you are doing after what has happened?

  15. PJ
    March 24, 2014 / 11:14 pm

    From my research, I have discovered it is not mentioned because of greed and/or ignorance. I come from the UK, where, like most countries, we do not circumcise our children. We get very confused by all the supposed things that will happen to a boy who is not circumcised, as not a single British male I have spoken to has had such issues. You can have a look at the links here for more info:

  16. PJ
    March 24, 2014 / 11:16 pm

    At least he got to choose. He's lucky he's one of the minority who have had no ill effects (yet)

  17. Monicatoby
    March 25, 2014 / 5:21 am

    I'm sorry to hear that your son has meatal stenosis, severe enough to need surgery. Poor little guy! I hope the procedure goes well and heals very quickly. I'll bet the consent form you signed for the circumcision didn't tell you that meatal stenosis was a possible complication of it. Parents are rarely informed of the multiple adverse effects that can take place. Meatal stenosis is caused by chronic and/or severe meatitis, or irritation around the meatus (urinary opening). It is much more common in circumcised boys, than intact boys, because the foreskin keeps the meatus and glans protected, as nature intended it to be. In a circumcised bawby, the meatus is out here it is exposed to urine, feces and rubbing from diapers or clothing. God, or Mother Nature, knew what they were doing when they created little boys with intact foreskins. It is much healthier! I've raised one circumcised boy and three intact boys, to adulthood. None of those problems that those who think circumcision prevents ever happened. That's consistent with what happens in Europe and other parts of the world where circumcision has been rare, or almost unheard of. In fact, those countries often have much LOWER rates of those problems than we do among our largely circumcised population. That includes HIV/AIDS, which is one of the primary things that certain American physicians like to think they are preventing by circumcising babies.

  18. Monicatoby
    March 25, 2014 / 5:25 am

    What makes you do glad you did?

  19. Monicatoby
    March 25, 2014 / 5:28 am

    But it hurt him when he was a baby. I know dozens of reasons that circumcision is not only unnecessary, but harmful, but even if the foreskin was useless skin (as some ignorant people like to think) I would STILL be against it. It's not right to hurt babies!

  20. Monicatoby
    March 25, 2014 / 5:30 am

    Do you mean surgery for meatal stenosis? I would imagine that the child experiences both fear and pain. He would have to urinate on broken skin.

  21. Monicatoby
    March 25, 2014 / 5:47 am

    Here is some of what Medscape has to say about meatal stenosis. I've known about it for at least 20 years, but didn't know it was so common. ALL parents should be informed on this and other complications, before they sign a consent form. I'm sorry it is going to cost so much to get Kye's problem fixed, but I'm more sorry that he has had to deal with the effects of it and will certainly experience fear and pain from the surgery. I hope you will reconsider your stance on circumcision.BackgroundGenital disorders are commonly encountered in the office of the primary care physician.[1] Meatal stenosis is a relatively common acquired condition occurring in 9%-10% of males who are circumcised. This disorder is characterized by an upward deflected, difficult-to-aim urinary stream and, occasionally, dysuria and urgent, frequent, and prolonged urination. Surgical meatotomy is curative.HistoryPatient history may include the following:Difficult-to-aim (upward deflected), high-velocity (long distance) stream of urinePain upon initiation of micturitionNeed to stand back from toilet or sit during urinationBurning at meatusBlood spots in underwearUrgent, frequent, and prolonged emptying of the bladder

  22. Monicatoby
    March 25, 2014 / 3:37 pm

    I'm very sorry to hear about your sons's problem. It must be very painful and frightening to a little boy, to have trouble urinating.There have been lawsuits for "lack of informed consent", some which have won. Doctors very rarely inform parents of the multiple of problems caused by circumcision. In fact, many give parents the impression that it results in a totally care-free penis when, actually, it is the intact penis that is virtually care-free. I've raised both a circumcised son and three noncircumcised sons, to adulthood. Except for a few applications of Neosporin when they were little, from retracting their foreskins with dirty hands, there have been no problems at all. My circumcised son had complications of adhesions and infections around the cut edge, when he was in diapers.

  23. Monicatoby
    March 25, 2014 / 3:54 pm

    That's the case with American males whose healthy, normal, bodies have been left as they are, and not damaged by forced retraction. The problems circumcision fans like to think they are preventing by strapping down babies and cutting their penises don't happen, here, the UK, continental Europe, most of Asia, South America, etc.. Those who persist in telling Americans about all the supposed problems circumcision prevents are just out and out lying.

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