Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Hypospadias repair refers to a group of surgical approaches used to correct or reconstruct parts of the external genitalia and urinary tract related to a displaced meatus, or opening of the urethra. The urethra is the passageway that carries urine...
from the bladder to the outside of the body. Hypospadias is the medical term for a birth defect in which the urethra opens on the underside of the penis (in boys) or into the vagina (in girls). The word hypospadias comes from two Greek words that mean underneath and rip or tear, because severe forms of hypospadias in boys look like large tears in the skin of the penis.
Hypospadias is one of the most common congenital abnormalities in males. It was described in the first and second centuries A.D. by Celsus, a Roman historian of medicine, and Galen, a Greek physician. The first attempt to correct hypospadias by surgery was made in 1874 by Duplay, a French surgeon; as of 2003, more than 200 different procedures for the condition have been reported in the medical literature.
Hypospadias repair is, however, controversial because it is genital surgery. Some people regard it as unnecessary interference with a child's body and a traumatic experience with psychological consequences extending into adult life. Others maintain that boys with untreated hypospadias are far more likely than those who have had surgery to develop fears about intimate relationships and sexuality. There is little information about the emotional aftereffects of hypospadias repair on girls.
Hypospadias repair is surgery to correct a birth defect in boys in which the urethra does not properly exit the tip of the penis.
For information on the condition itself, see: Hypospadias.
The surgery is done while the child is under general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free). The type of repair depends on the severity of the defect. Mild defects may be repaired in a one procedure, while severe defects may require two or more procedures.
A small piece of foreskin, or tissue from another site, can be used to create a tube to extend the length of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that releases urine from the body. Extending the length allows an opening to be placed at the tip of the penis.
Circumcision should not be performed at birth in boys with hypospadias, so that the foreskin can later be used for the repair.
In 2000, the estimated number of doctor visits and outpatient hospital visits by adults aged 20 or older with â€ścalculus of kidney and uretersâ€ť as a listed diagnosis was of 2 million visits with urolithiasis as the primary diagnosis.
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