Hypospadias Repair: Before Your Child's Surgery

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What is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a problem with the opening of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body.

In boys, the opening of the urethra is usually at the end of the penis. But sometimes the urethra does not reach the end of the penis. In this case, the opening is on the underside of the penis.

Surgery can make a new opening at the end of the penis. The way the doctor does this depends on how serious the problem is. In some cases, the doctor can take tissue from inside the mouth to make the urethra longer. In other cases, the doctor needs to do more than one surgery to fix the problem. Your doctor will talk to you more about this.

After surgery, your child may have a short, plastic tube in his urethra. The tube is called a stent. It keeps the urethra open. Or your child may have another kind of tube called a catheter. It drains urine from the bladder. These will be removed in about 10 to 14 days.

Your child may be able to go home the same day. Or he may need to stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

What happens before surgery?

Surgery can be stressful both for your child and for you. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your child's surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell the doctors ALL the medicines and natural health products your child takes. Some of these can increase the risk of bleeding or interact with anesthesia. Your doctor will tell you which medicines your child should take or stop before surgery.
  • Talk to your child about the surgery. Tell your child that the surgery will fix a problem with the penis. Hospitals know how to take care of children. The staff will do all they can to make it easier for your child.
  • Ask if a special tour of the operating area and hospital is available. This may make your child feel less nervous about what happens.
  • Plan for your child's recovery time. He may need more of your time right after the surgery, both for care and for comfort.

The day before surgery

  • A nurse may call you (or you may need to call the hospital). This is to confirm the time and date of your child's surgery and answer any questions.
  • Remember to follow your doctor's instructions about your child taking or stopping medicines before surgery. This includes over-the-counter medicines.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when your child should stop eating and drinking. If you don't, the surgery may be cancelled. If the doctor told you to have your child take his medicines on the day of surgery, have your child take them with only a sip of water.
  • Have your child take a bath or shower before you come in. Do not apply lotion or deodorant.
  • Be sure your child has something that reminds him of home. A special stuffed animal, toy, or blanket may be comforting. For an older child, it might be a book or music.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • A parent or legal guardian must accompany your child.
  • Your child will be kept comfortable and safe by an anesthesia provider. Your child will be asleep during the surgery.
  • The surgery will take 1 to 3 hours.
  • After surgery, your child will be taken to the recovery room. As your child wakes up, the recovery room staff will monitor his condition. The doctor will talk to you about the surgery.
  • Your child may be able to go home the same day. Or he may need to stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days.

Going home

  • When you leave the hospital, you will get more information about how to take care of your child at home.
  • The doctor or nurse will tell you when your child can start normal activities again.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare your child for the surgery.
  • Your child becomes ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about your child having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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