Outcome Analysis of Severe Chordee Correction Using Tunica Vaginalis as a Flap in Boys With Proximal Hypospadias
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PURPOSE: There is ongoing controversy regarding optimal treatment for severe ventral curvature. It has been suggested that ventral corporeal lengthening may be associated with recurrent curvature and erectile dysfunction. To further assess these issues we reviewed our experience with ventral penile lengthening for correcting the severe ventral curvature associated with proximal hypospadias. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed the records of 38 boys with severe hypospadias and congenital ventral curvature greater than 45 degrees who were treated at our institution from 1995 to 2004 with placement of a flap or graft in the corporeal bodies to straighten the phallus. Of the patients 21 had perineal and 17 had penoscrotal hypospadias, including 22 with associated penoscrotal transposition and/or bifid scrotum and 6 with ambiguous genitalia. Testosterone stimulation before surgery was given in 11 children at surgeon discretion. RESULTS: Median age at surgery was 15 months. The urethral plate was divided in 94.7% of patients. A tunica vaginalis flap was used alone in 23 cases and associated with dura, pericardium or small intestinal submucosa in 8, 2 and 1, respectively. The remaining 4 patients underwent ventral grafting alone, including lyophilized dura in 1, pericardium in 1 and dermis in 1. Urethral reconstruction was achieved by the transverse island flap technique or 1 of its modifications in 34 children. Four boys underwent a 2-stage procedure. Followup available on 35 of 38 patients was 1 to 11 years (median 5.3). Recurrent ventral curvature in 5 of 35 patients was mild in 1 and clinically significant, requiring re-intervention, in 4. Four of 9 patients (44.4%) who underwent corporeal grafting with lyophilized dura had recurrent ventral curvature vs 1 of 23 (4.3%) who had a tunica vaginalis flap (chi-square 5.14, p = 0.02). At last followup straight erections were documented by patients and/or parents in 30 of 35 children (85.7%). CONCLUSIONS: The short-term outcome of ventral penile lengthening using tunica vaginalis flap alone for correcting severe chordee is favorable with a 95% success rate. Dural grafts were associated with a higher risk of recurrent ventral curvature compared to tunica vaginalis flaps. Although most of our patients were not yet adults, when chordee and erectile dysfunction may become apparent, we believe that tunica vaginalis flap repair is a good option for correcting severe ventral curvature.
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