Decisional Regret after Distal Hypospadias Repair: Single Institution Prospective Analysis of Factors Associated with Subsequent Parental Remorse or Distress
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PURPOSE: Hypospadias repair is a commonly performed procedure. Little is known about decisional regret in parents who agree to proceed with this surgical reconstruction. We present data on this previously underexplored issue. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed followup analysis of 100 couples prospectively evaluated after counseling for surgical correction of distal hypospadias in their son with assessment of complications and decisional regret 1 year after surgery. Findings were contrasted with baseline demographics, hypospadias knowledge and decisional conflict at the time of counseling. RESULTS: Decisional regret was found in 116 parents, including mild regret in 41.4% and moderate to severe regret in 8.6%. There was no statistically significant difference in paired regret analysis between mothers and fathers. Complications were strongly associated with decisional regret (p <0.001). On regression analysis postoperative complications (OR 14.7, 95% CI 1.6-131.6), parental desire to avoid circumcision (OR 7.4, 95% CI 1.1-49.4) and initial decisional conflict level (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.09) were statistically significant predictors of moderate to strong decisional regret. These findings remained robust after imputation strategies to address missing data. The impact of decisional conflict and preference for circumcision were significant even after excluding families who experienced complications. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge this is the first study demonstrating parental decisional regret after providing consent for surgical correction of distal hypospadias in their son. Based on the described risk factors efforts aimed at minimizing complications and counseling about foreskin preservation techniques may be prudent to ameliorate decisional regret. The novel association between decisional conflict and regret suggests that conflict assessment during counseling may help screen families at risk for postoperative regret.
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