For phalloplasty, two urethral lengthening (UL) segments are required to extend the urethra from where it anatomically lies to the tip of the new penis. The first UL segment is made from minora tissue and lengthens the urethra to the tip of the native penis. The second UL segment is created through the flap (RF or ALT) where a segment of the rectangular flap is rolled into the urethra; the remainder of the flap is rolled on the outside to become the new penis (or neophallus). For metoidioplasty, UL is composed mostly of minora tissue.
Urethral strictures and fistulas can develop after phalloplasty and metoidioplasty. Fistulas lead to leakage of urine from a hole (or holes) in the urethra. Strictures lead to narrowing of the urethra and a resultant weak urinary stream. Fistulas may heal on their own; strictures require reconstruction. Tracking your urinary symptoms over time will help determine the likelihood of having a urethral problem. One method is periodically testing your urine flow rate with uroflowmetry.