Hypospadias: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help
Hypospadias is a structural birth defect involving urethral opening in males. In normal male individuals, the urethra (narrow tube through which urine passes from the urinary bladder to the outside) is located at the tip of penis. However in this condition, the urethral opening is displaced from its normal position and most commonly occurs on the underside of penis. However in rare cases, the urethral opening may also be located in or behind the scrotum.
Hypospadias: Incidence, age and sex
Hypospadias is a common condition which may be encountered in 1 in 200 male infants. It is a congenital condition which is present since birth.
Signs and symptoms of hypospadias: Diagnosis
The clinical features of hypospadias may vary from person to person. The affected infant may exhibit abnormal spraying of urine. In fact as he grows older he may not be able to stand and urinate and need to sit down to urinate. Moreover hypospadias may be evident when the penis shows slight downward bending in erect position (chordee). The diagnosis of the condition can be easily confirmed on physical examination. Generally no investigations are required to establish the diagnosis.
Causes and prevention of hypospadias
The exact cause of hypospadias is not known. However it may have a definite genetic preponderance. Since it is a congenital defect, no preventive measures are needed.
The complications of hypospadias result in impairment of urinary and sexual functions. The affected child if not treated, may find difficulty in toilet training. Not only this, untreated hypospadias may cause sexual problems in adulthood. Rarely urethral strictures may also develop.
The treatment of hypospadias includes surgical repair which should be done before 18 months of age. Surgical repair involves straightening of the penis along with the extension of the urethra to the tip of penis. The success rate of surgery is good, resulting in normal urethral function in most of the individuals.