Resurfacing the Penis of Complex Hypospadias Repair (“Hypospadias Cripples”)

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Abstract

Purpose:

After the creation of a neourethra in a “hypospadias cripple,” resurfacing the penis with healthy skin is a significant challenge because local tissue is often scarred and unusable. We reviewed our experience with various strategies to resurface the penis of hypospadias cripples.

Materials and Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed the records of 215 patients referred after multiple unsuccessful hypospadias repairs from 1981 to 2014. In 130 of 215 patients we performed resurfacing using local penile flaps using various techniques, including Byars flaps, Z-plasty or double Z-plasty, or a dorsal relaxing incision. Of the 215 patients 85 did not have adequate healthy local penile skin to resurface the penis after urethroplasty. Scrotal skin was used to resurface the penis in 54 patients, 6 underwent tissue expansion of the dorsal penile skin during a 12 to 16-week period prior to penile resurfacing, 23 underwent full-thickness skin grafting and another 4 received a split-thickness skin graft.

Results:

Of the 56 patients who underwent fasciomyocutaneous rotational flaps, tissue expansion or a combination of both approaches 54 (96.4%) finally had a successful outcome. All 6 patients who underwent tissue expansion had a successful outcome without complications and were reported on previously. All 23 full-thickness skin grafts took with excellent results. All 4 patients who underwent fenestrated split-thickness skin grafting had 100% graft take but secondary contraction and ulceration were associated with sexual activity.

Conclusions:

In our experience scrotal skin flaps, tissue expansion of the dorsal penile skin and full-thickness skin grafts serve as reliable approaches in resurfacing the penis in almost any hypospadias cripple lacking healthy local skin.

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