What is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a congenital defect of the penis, i.e. the patient has it from birth. Three alterations are associated: an abnormal position of the urethral meatus (orifice through which urine exits) which is lower, a curvature of the penis and an abnormal configuration of the foreskin.

Hypospadias is usually classified according to the position of the urethral meatus. The further away it is from its normal position, the more severe the hypospadias.

Why does this pathology occur?

The exact cause is not known. It is believed that the combination of different factors would produce an arrest of the formation of the urethra and the ventral part of the penis (the part of the penis where the urethra is located), resulting in an abnormal position of the urethral meatus, penile curvature and lack of foreskin in the urethral area.

What are the most frequent complications?

Clinically hypospadias produces no symptoms and is not associated with an increased rate of urinary tract infection. Patients with hypospadias may present with secondary infertility due to abnormal semen elimination because of the anomalous location of the meatus, in addition to the associated penile incurvation.

What is the treatment?

Treatment is surgical. The surgery consists of placing the urethral meatus in a normal position, correcting the penile curvature and shaping the foreskin to achieve a good aesthetic result. This type of intervention is thorough and delicate, and must be performed by an experienced urologist.

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The most frequent complications of the surgery are the appearance of urinary fistulas (leakage of urine into the newly reconstructed urethra) and meatal stenosis (narrowing of the urinary outlet). Sometimes these complications must be surgically corrected.

Will the baby be able to have a normal life in the future?

The main objectives of the surgery are to enable the patient to urinate straight by positioning the urethral orifice at the tip of the penis, to correct the penile curvature so that he will not have problems with sexual intercourse in the future and to give the penis a good aesthetic appearance. Therefore, the patient will be able to have a normal life in the future. In some patients, and depending on the severity of the case, several interventions may be necessary.