Hypospadias is a common congenital condition among men, but one that is rarely discussed. Today, repair of the abnormality is often performed on young children with a relatively high success rate. However, men who were not treated during infancy or childhood may find the condition affects both their appearance and their sexual function in adulthood. For these men, hypospadias can become debilitating for a man regarding his personal relationships and his self-esteem. Surgical correction can help restore a man’s function, appearance and self-confidence in the bedroom.
Hypospadias occurs when the opening of the penis forms underneath the shaft instead of at the top of the penis (glans). Sometimes, the condition is accompanied by twisting that can give the penis a hooked appearance. Professor Moore at the Australian Centre for Cosmetic and Genital Surgery offers surgical treatment for hypospadias to patients that are suffering the consequences of this deformity. While the surgery is delicate, the results are usually excellent when performed by an experienced surgeon like Professor Moore.
The penis is responsible for carrying urine and semen out of the body, through an opening called the meatus. Normally, the meatus is located at the tip of the penis, making it easy to expel these elements. For men with hypospadias, the meatus is situated underneath the penis, at a location that may range from the tip to near the base.
It is a relatively common birth defect. According to a study of Australian men published in 2015, one in every 285 babies born were affected, and approximately 60 percent required surgical correction. Hypospadias can make it difficult to urinate appropriately and may contribute to sexual problems for some men. In addition, the difference in appearance can make some men self-conscious and raise challenges in personal relationships.
Causes of Hypospadias
Hypospadias occurs when there is a problem with hormone levels in the developing foetus. Because hypospadias is usually present at birth, the potential origins of the deformity can often be traced back to the mother or the pregnancy. Some of the risk factors for the condition might include:
- Maternal age (more common in babies of mothers over 35)
- Obesity during pregnancy
- Smoking during pregnancy
- Exposure to pesticides or other chemicals during pregnancy
- A family history of the defect
- Gene variations that could affect the hormones
- Use of reproductive technology to assist with pregnancy
It is thought the defect likely occurs between the ninth and 12th weeks of pregnancy since this is the time when the male genitalia begin to develop.
Other Issues Associated with Hypospadias
Hypospadias can lead to a variety of issues that can impact a man’s daily life, such as:
- Possible inability to urinate in a standing position
- Unnatural spraying during urination
- Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection Impaired ejaculation, which could impact fertility
- A curvature of the penis, known as chordee
- Foreskin the covers the head of the penis may not develop fully
An abnormal foreskin appearance is often the first sign of hypospadias that is noticed in infants. A high number of boys with hypospadias have one testicle that fails to drop into the scrotum entirely as well.
While the physical impact of hypospadias may be visibly evident, the psychological impact can be more difficult to assess. Men with this condition can suffer from crippling embarrassment over their appearance and ability to perform sexually. Some men have difficulty forming close relationships due to their self-consciousness over their body. In severe cases, this can even evolve into depression and anxiety, significantly impacting the quality of a man’s life overall.
Surgery is typically the recommended procedure for men that require treatment for hypospadias. Today, surgical correction is often performed during infancy or early childhood. However, many men did not have the surgery done during their younger years and seek treatment as an adult for both functional and cosmetic purposes.
The primary goals of this procedure are to relocate the meatus to the tip of the penis and to straighten any curvature that has occurred. The urinary tract will also need to be redirected, and the foreskin addressed to ensure a natural and aesthetically pleasing result. In some cases, skin grafting might be required to produce the best outcome.
Surgical repair on adult men entails a delicate operation that should only be performed by a surgeon with extensive experience in this procedure. Professor Moore performs hypospadias repair under general anaesthesia and patients usually spend at least one night in the hospital after surgery. Recovery can take some time, with the majority of men returning to work within about one week and strenuous activity and intercourse restricted for up to three months to allow for ample healing time.
If you are embarrassed about hypospadias, help is available. Contact the Australian Centre for Cosmetic and Genital Surgery today on 0414 251 234. We will be happy to set up a consultation with Professor Moore so that you can ask questions, get more information about the procedure, and find out if surgical correction is the right choice for you.