Research Article|Articles in Press

Urethral Plate Substitution in Two-Stage Hypospadias Repair: Grafts Versus Flaps



      Choosing between flaps or grafts to substitute the urethral plate in 2-stage hypospadias repair has been a matter of debate with no consensus in the literature. Flaps have reliable blood supply that maybe theoretically less liable for strictures or contractures. Grafts are more versatile, which can be used in primary and recurrent cases when healthy local skin is deficient.In this report, our aim was to compare outcomes of grafts and flaps when used to substitute the urethral plate in two-stage repair of primary proximal hypospadias with ventral curvature.


      This retrospective study included primary cases of hypospadias with significant curvature who underwent two-stage repair using either grafts or flaps to substitute the urethral plate in the first stage. Cases included in the study were divided into two groups according to the technique of substituting the urethral plate at the first stage of repair. During first part of the study period (2015 through 2018), we mostly used grafts to substitute the urethral plate (group A); later, we shifted to skin flaps (Group B) during the period 2019 through 2021.


      The study included 37 boys with primary proximal hypospadias who underwent two-stage hypospadias repair. The meatus position was penoscrotal in 18, scrotal in 16, and perineal in three. Inner preputial graft was used to substitute the urethral plate in 18 cases (group A), while dorsal skin flaps were used in 19 (group B). Out of the 37 cases, 27 were available at follow-up after second stage (group A = 14; group B = 13). Follow up period ranged between 6 and 42 months (mean 19.7; median 18.5). Overall, 14 cases required reoperations for different indications: partial disruptions of distal part of the repair in six, closure of urethro-cutaneous fistula in six, and urethral strictures in two. The rate of complications was higher in group A (10 cases: 71%) compared to group B (4 cases: 31%) (Fisher exact test, p-value = 0.057).


      Grafts were associated with higher complication rate than flaps when used to substitute the urethral plate in two-stage repair of proximal hypospadias with chordee.

      Type of Study and Level of Evidence

      This is non-randomized comparative study (level III evidence).


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