Abnormalities of the male urethra and webbed penis

Last updated: October 30, 2023

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Abnormalities of the male urethra are common and the need for treatment depends on the condition and the symptoms. Epispadias and hypospadias may result in difficulty urinating and infections, and surgical repair is indicated for restoring functionality and reconstruction of external genitalia. Posterior urethral valves are the most common cause of urinary obstruction in newborn boys and can be associated with hydronephrosis, renal failure, and pulmonary hypoplasia. Early identification by prenatal ultrasound with diagnosis by voiding cystourethrogram allows for cystoscopic valve ablation and relief of the obstruction. However, despite treatment, many patients will develop chronic kidney disease.

Epispadiastoggle arrow icon

Hypospadiastoggle arrow icon

Circumcision is contraindicated in boys with hypospadias that includes the foreskin. In these cases, the foreskin may be needed for a skin flap when performing urethroplasty.

Posterior urethral valvestoggle arrow icon

Webbed penistoggle arrow icon


Referencestoggle arrow icon

  1. No authors listed. Epidemiology of bladder exstrophy and epispadias: a communication from the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Monitoring Systems.. Teratology. 1987; 36 (2): p.221-7.doi: 10.1002/tera.1420360210 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  2. Penile and Urethral Anomalies. Updated: November 1, 2016. Accessed: April 12, 2017.
  3. Baskin LS, Himes K, Colborn T. Hypospadias and endocrine disruption: is there a connection?. Environ Health Perspect. 2001; 109 (11): p.1175-83.doi: 10.1289/ehp.011091175 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  4. El-Koutby M, Mohamed Amin el G. Webbed penis: A new classification. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg. 2010; 15 (2): p.50-52.doi: 10.4103/0971-9261.70637 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  5. Brownlee E, Wragg R, Robb A, et al. Current epidemiology and antenatal presentation of posterior urethral valves: Outcome of BAPS CASS National Audit.. J Pediatr Surg. 2019; 54 (2): p.318-321.doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2018.10.091 . | Open in Read by QxMD

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