Hypospadias Basics and What Every Parent Should Know
Penile hypospadias is a condition in boys where the pee opening (meatus) is not where it is supposed to be (near the tip of the head of the penis). Rather it is seen on the underside of the penis.
The term comes from two Latin words, “hypo” and “spade,” meaning under and opening, respectively. Penile hypospadias is a common phenomenon that occurs in one out of three hundred boys.
In other cases, the low opening is also attributed to the downward curvature of the penis.
Why hypospadias happens
While some people argue that it may get caused by environmental factors, there is no specific cause for hypospadias. There is nothing a parent can do to prevent it, and or nothing they did contributes to the disease.
The causes of penile hypospadias are still under research.
How will the condition impact my child’s life?
The condition is mostly mild. That means that your child’s sexual function or fertility will be unaffected. It happens in cases where the meatus is close enough to the tip of the penis.
However, in minimal cases, the opening of the penis is located in an area that might affect their fertility and erections.
Can you correct hypospadias?
The good news is, you can correct penile hypospadias with outpatient surgery. The surgery takes between one and two hours and is not a risky one. Once healed, the penis takes its usual form, and you can barely tell that surgery has taken place. Some parents opt to get their sons circumcised at this point. That is optional.
In other instances, a catheter is left in the penis during surgery. It gets removed after two weeks. For more complex cases, sometimes two surgeries are required. They help to straighten the penis and to bring the penis opening into its usual position.
Who should carry out your child’s hypospadias surgery?
The best penile hypospadias correction treatment happens during the first surgery. For this reason, you need to consider a pediatric urologist who is well versed in this field. The professional should have a list of successful cases they have handled in the past. They should also have a history of treating patients with penile hypospadias regularly.
The pediatric urologist should employ state-of-the-art technology to carry out treatment, be accredited, fully licensed, and have a sound reputation.
When is the right time for a hypospadias surgery?
Most people are of the school of thought that the earlier the correction treatment, the better. However, the appropriate age to carry out this surgery is when your child is between six to twelve months. Healing is much faster. Treatment can be done at any age, however.
What are some of the risks of hypospadias surgery?
While the best doctor will try their best to perform a successful surgery, sometimes complications may occur. Some of the most common ones include urethral fistula and meatal stenosis. Both may cause a deflected urinary stream. You need to wait for a while before another corrective surgery can take place.