Hypospadias is a congenital condition that affects the male reproductive system. In this blog we will explain everything that you need to know about hypospadias, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
What is Hypospadias?
Hypospadias is a birth defect in which urine and sperm don’t come out of the penis at the tip. A meatus appears on the undersurface of the penis instead of at the tip. In mild forms of the condition, the meatus is just a little below the tip of the penis, and in severe forms, the meatus may be present as far below as the scrotum.
Causes Of Hypospadias
In all cases, hypospadias is present at birth (congenital). It is during the development of the penis in male fetuses that hormones stimulate the formation of the urethra and foreskin. Any dysfunction in this results in the abnormal development of the urethra, causing hypospadias. Generally, it is not known what causes hypospadias. It is possible that hypospadias may have a genetic predisposition or be due to hormonal imbalances during pregnancy, but environmental factors may also be involved.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hypospadias
There are different types of hypospadias, depending on the symptoms. Signs that your child has hypospadias include:
- Urine is not released from the penis at the tip, but elsewhere along the penis.
- In some cases, the foreskin is only present on the top of the penis (dorsal hood), whereas it may not be found all around.
- In some cases, the penis does not have a straight shape (it has a bend in it) – this is a chordee.
- Abnormal spraying during urination
- In this case, urine doesn’t flow in a straight line
Treatment For Hypospadias
According to the severity of hypospadias, there are several treatment options. When your child’s urinary tract is abnormally severe, a medical examination may be required to determine if there are any other issues.
Hypospadias may not require surgical treatment at all in mild cases. However, if it affects penis function, your child may need surgery.
- Reconstruction of the urethra from the hypospadias site till the tip of the penis– this will enable your child to urinate standing up and with a straight stream of urine
- Correct the bend so that the penis is straight, and make the penis look normal.
Affections of the penis is a sensitive topic, leading to parental anxiety about future health complications for their sons with hypospadias. Pediatric urologists suggest your child has surgery between the age of 8 to 18 months. If your child is going to need surgery, don’t get him circumcised first.
Risks and Side Effects of Hypospadias Surgery
There are some risks and potential side effects with surgery
In most cases, children undergoing Hypospadias surgery will require a catheter or stent for approximately one week post-surgery. Occasionally, the use of certain catheters can lead to bladder spasms. If these spasms occur, rest assured that medication is available to alleviate them effectively.
It’s important to note that some bleeding from the penis may occur during the recovery period. Additionally, there’s a possibility that the surgical wound may not heal as expected. In rare instances, part or, very rarely, the entire wound could break down, leading to urine leakage from the original hole, which is referred to as a fistula.
Another potential outcome is the narrowing of the new opening, making it more challenging to pass urine; this is known as a stricture. Occasionally, there might be incomplete correction of the bend that was present before the surgery.
For these reasons, it’s vital to ensure that surgery to correct Hypospadias is performed exclusively by an experienced pediatric urologist. Their expertise and skill are essential in managing and minimizing the risk of these potential complications, ultimately ensuring the best possible outcome for your child.