Persistent or recurrent ventral curvature after failed proximal hypospadias repair

J Pediatr Urol. 2019 Aug;15(4):344.e1-344.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2019.03.028. Epub 2019 Apr 3.


Purpose: Persistent or recurrent ventral curvature (VC) in patients with complications after proximal hypospadias repair is reported.

Methods: Records of patients undergoing re-operation for complications after proximal repair performed elsewhere were reviewed, including earlier operative reports when available. Original extent of VC, means used for straightening, and presenting complaints and findings at re-operation were tabulated. Ventral curvature at re-operation was objectively measured by goniometry and classified as due to short ventral skin and/or scarring of skin/dartos, short neourethra, or short ventral corpora (corporal disproportion). The finding of corporal disproportion at re-operation was considered to be failure of initial straightening.

Results: There were 73 patients with an average of 2.7 [1-5] prior operations for proximal shaft to perineal hypospadias; of which, 83% had VC at re-operation averaging 50° (30-90). This was due to short skin/scarring in 7% patients, a short neourethra in 23%, and corporal disproportion in 70%. Initial straightening was performed by chordee excision in 18 patients, dorsal plication in 23, and ventral lengthening in 15. Persistent or recurrent corporal disproportion was significantly more likely after chordee excision or dorsal plication than after ventral lengthening (p = 0.005). Of patients with VC, 93% also had urethroplasty complications, including recurrent fistulas and wound dehiscences that appeared related to the curvature.

Discussion: The VC that was encountered during proximal hypospadias re-operations was important for several reasons. First, all patients with VC who had completed urethroplasty had complications that included recurrent fistulas and wound dehiscences (Figure). Even if they had healed without complications, this VC exceeded 30° in all cases, which is associated with sexual dysfunction in adults. This VC was not reported by 37% of caregivers and sometimes not apparent on pre-operative physical examination. It is possible there is selection bias in this series, although nearly all patients were self-referred for complications, and nearly 40% of them were not aware their son had VC. Furthermore, the finding that most initially had dorsal plication agrees with an earlier survey of pediatric urologists' preferences for straightening penile curvature.

Conclusions: The most common complication in this series was persistent or recurrent VC, and nearly all these patients also had urethroplasty complications. This VC was more likely when the urethral plate was preserved during straightening and when chordee excision or dorsal plication rather than ventral lengthening was performed. These data suggest that surgeons should objectively measure VC and consider ventral lengthening rather than chordee excision or dorsal plication when it is ≥ 30°. Re-operations for urethroplasty complications should include artificial erection.

Keywords: Chordee; Dorsal plication; Proximal hypospadias complications; Urethroplasty Complications.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypospadias / diagnosis
  • Hypospadias / surgery*
  • Male
  • Penis / abnormalities
  • Penis / surgery*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Reoperation / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surgical Flaps / transplantation*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male / adverse effects*
  • Urologic Surgical Procedures, Male / methods