Identifying variability in surgical practices and instrumentation for hypospadias repair across the Western Pediatric Urology Consortium (WPUC) network Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Although hypospadias outcomes studies typically report a level or type of repair performed, these studies often lack applicability to each surgical practice due to technical variability that is not fully delineated. An example is the tubularized incised plate (TIP) urethroplasty procedure, for which modifications have been associated with significantly decreased complication rates in single center series. However, many studies fail to report specificity in techniques utilized, thereby limiting comparison between series. OBJECTIVE: With the goal of developing a surgical atlas of hypospadias repair techniques, this study examined 1) current techniques used by surgeons in our network for recording operative notes and 2) operative technical details by surgeon for two common procedures, tubularized incised plate (TIP) distal and proximal hypospadias repairs across a multi-institutional surgical network. STUDY DESIGN: A two-part study was completed. First, a survey was distributed to the network to assess surgeon volume and methods of recording hypospadias repair operative notes. Subsequently, an operative template or a representative de-identified operative note describing a TIP and/or proximal repair with urethroplasty was obtained from participating surgeons. Each was analyzed by at least two individuals for natural language that signified specified portions of the procedure. Procedural details from each note were tabulated and confirmed with each surgeon, clarifying that the recorded findings reflected their current practice techniques and instrumentation. RESULTS: Twenty-five surgeons from 12 institutions completed the survey. The number of primary distal hypospadias repairs performed per surgeon in the past year ranged from 1-10 to >50, with 40% performing 1-20. Primary proximal hypospadias repairs performed in the past year ranged from 1-30, with 60% performing 1-10. 96% of surgeons maintain operative notes within an electronic health record. Of these, 66.7% edited a template as their primary method of note entry; 76.5% of these surgeons reported that the template captures their operative techniques very or moderately well. Operative notes or templates from 16 surgeons at 10 institutions were analyzed. In 7 proximal and 14 distal repairs, parameters for chordee correction, urethroplasty suture selection and technique, tissue utilized, and catheter selection varied widely across surgeons. CONCLUSION: Wide variability in technical surgical details of categorically similar hypospadias repairs was demonstrated across a large surgical network. Surgeon-specific modifications of commonly described procedures are common, and further evaluation of short- and long-term outcomes accounting for these technical variations is needed to determine their relative influence.


  • Yamashiro, Justine R
  • Austin, J Christopher
  • Braga, Luis
  • Chuang, Kai-Wen
  • Davis-Dao, Carol A
  • Hecht, Sarah
  • Holzman, Sarah A
  • Khoury, Antoine E
  • Kurzrock, Eric A
  • Lerman, Steven E
  • McGrath, Melissa
  • Merguerian, Paul A
  • Saltzman, Amanda F
  • Schaeffer, Anthony J
  • Seideman, Casey
  • Singer, Jennifer S
  • Wang, Peter
  • Wehbi, Elias J
  • Wu, Hsi-Yang
  • Sturm, Renea M

publication date

  • June 2023