Find out if You're a Candidate for Hypospadias Surgery
Hypospadias is a congenital penile malformation in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis rather than the tip, which is likely to cause spraying during urination. The condition is usually repaired surgically when a boy is between 6 months and 2 years old. In some cases, however, a physical imperfection is left unaddressed in childhood because it does not appear life-altering, but it may become a burden later in life.
Guys like to take it for granted that their penis will always look and function as designed. However, congenital penile malformations are more prevalent than you might think and may require surgery as they worsen.
It's more than an inconvenience
Hypospadias surgery can correct the defect and make an enormous difference for a man seeking to lead a normal life free of the problems that hypospadias presents. In severe cases, the opening of the urethra, through which urine drains from the bladder and exits the penis, may be located in the middle or base of the penis or even beneath the scrotum. This condition makes it impossible for a man to stand during urination and can be a source of unrelieved misery.
If you suffer from such a problem, you are a candidate for surgery, which can be downright transformative. If long-held feelings of humiliation due to an atypical penis can be eliminated, then surgery constitutes a marked improvement in quality of life.
Infertility and sexuality
Hypospadias repair generally involves external surgery aimed at correcting the physical deformity and does not directly impact a man's fertility. However, the ability to father a child may be affected by a particularly severe case involving the testicles or some malformation of the penis that impairs a man's ability to ejaculate. The good news is that men born with hypospadias tend to have a positive long-term experience with sex and fertility.
Fortunately, hypospadias surgery has become a highly specialized form of corrective surgery capable of repairing a wide range of problems without compromising sexual sensation and the ability to orgasm. Grafts and plastic surgery, such as urethroplasty, can improve the flow of urine as well as semen through the urethra, which enhances the ability to fertilize a female.
Complications of surgery
Hypospadias surgery can be done in a day. However, a catheter may need to be inserted into the urethra for approximately one week during recovery. Complications can usually be repaired quite easily. A fistula, a leakage below the penile opening, and blockage of the urinary tract are both common postsurgical complications that are repairable. Complications may become troublesome when there are recurring problems with healing after surgery, particularly with patients who have had multiple procedures. In some cases, the repair may "fall apart" or skin grafts may not hold.
Questions for your doctor
As with any demanding form of surgery, it is advisable to ask your doctor plenty of questions before committing to such a procedure. First, and most importantly, ask about their experience. These surgeries are typically done by a urologist, often one with fellowship training. The closer the opening is to the tip of the penis, the easier the repair. Hypospadias repairs for openings farther down the shaft or in the scrotum are much more complicated and are usually performed by someone who specializes in this type of repair. You should ask what kind of postsurgical care will be needed, how to take care of the affected area—warm-water sponge baths are usually prescribed—and whether a catheter will be inserted and for how long.
Straightened and fully functional
The objective of hypospadias surgery is to ensure the patient's penile shaft is straight, the urinary channel is fully functional and terminates at a proper location and the head of the penis is properly constructed, according to the Urology Care Foundation. Whether motivated by quality-of-life reasons, such as unimpeded urination, or by cosmetic reasons arising from embarrassment over a malformed penis, hypospadias surgery can help boost self-confidence and improve intimate relationships.