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Hypospadias repair

Definition

Hypospadias repair is surgery to correct a birth defect in boys in which the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) does not end at the tip of the penis. Instead, it ends on the underside. In more severe cases, the urethra opens at the middle or bottom of the penis, or even in or behind the scrotum.

See also: Hypospadias

Alternative Names

Orthoplasty; Urethroplasty; Meatoplasty; Glanuloplasty

Description

Hypospadias repair is usually done when boys are between 6 months and 2 years old. It is done on an outpatient basis. It rarely requires an overnight stay in the hospital.

Boys who are born with hypospadias do not have circumcision at birth. This is so their foreskin can be used for the repair during surgery.

Before surgery, your child will receive general anesthesia. This will make him unconscious and unable to feel pain during surgery. Mild defects may be repaired in one procedure. Severe defects may need two or more procedures.

The surgeon will use a small piece of foreskin or tissue from another site to create a tube that increases the length of your sons urethra. Extending the length of the urethra will allow it to open at the tip of the penis.

During surgery, the surgeon may place a catheter (tube) in the urethra to make it hold its new shape. The catheter may be sewn or fastened to the head of penis to keep it in place. It will be removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.

Most of the sutures (stitches) used during surgery will dissolve on their own and will not have to be removed later.

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Hypospadias is one of the most common birth defects in boys. This surgery is performed on most boys who are born with hypospadias.

If repair is not done, your son may have:

  • Problems controlling and directing his urine stream
  • A curve in the penis during erection
  • Problems with fertility

Surgery is NOT needed if the condition does not affect normal urination while standing, sexual function, or the deposit of semen.

Risks

Risks for any anesthesia are:

  • Allergic reactions to medicines
  • Breathing problems

Risks for any surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blood clot

Additional risks for hypospadias are:

  • Scarring or narrowing of the repaired urethra
  • A hole that leaks urine
  • Hematoma formation (large blood clot)

Before the Procedure

Your childs surgeon may ask for a complete medical history and physical exam of your child before the procedure.

Always tell your childs doctor or nurse:

  • What drugs your child is taking
  • Include drugs, herbs, and vitamins you bought without a prescription.
  • Tell them about any allergies your child has to medicine, latex, tape, or skin cleaner.

Ask your childs doctor which drugs your child should still take on the day of surgery.

On the day of the surgery:

  • Your child will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before surgery.
  • Give your child any drugs your doctor told you to give your child with a small sip of water.
  • Your childs doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive for the surgery.
  • The doctor will make sure your child is healthy enough for surgery. This means your son should not have any signs of illness. If your son is ill, the surgery may be delayed.

After the Procedure

Right after surgery, your sons penis will be taped securely to his belly so that it does not move. Your child will be encouraged to drink fluids so that he will urinate. Urinating will keep pressure from building up in the urethra.

Your son may be given medicine to relieve pain.

You will probably be able to take your child home the same day as the surgery. If you live a long way from the hospital, you might want to stay in a hotel near the hospital the first night.

Outlook (Prognosis)

This surgery lasts a lifetime. Most children do well after this surgery. Your sons penis will look almost or completely normal. It will also work almost or completely normally.

If your child has a complicated hypospadias, he may need more operations to improve how his penis looks or to repair a hole or narrowing in the urethra.

Follow-up visits with a urologist (a doctor who specializes in treatment and surgery of the urinary system) may or may not be needed once your son has healed from surgery. Sometimes a visit is needed when boys reach puberty.

References

Borer JG, Retik AB. Hypospadias. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 125.


Review Date: 2/2/2009
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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