Epispadias and Definiton

Epispadias – a random congenital anomaly in which the urethra forms incorrectly. Epispadias often occurs as an element within a constellation of congenital malformations involving the pelvic structures (including the pelvic bones) and the genitalia.

In boys the urethra may exit the penis other than at the tip or appear as an open channel that runs the length of the penis, and often occurs in conjunction with chordee (a deformity in which the penis curves sharply). In girls the urethra may exit anywhere between the neck of the bladder and the upper labial fold, and typically occurs in conjunction with genital deformities such as bifid (two-fold or split) clitoris and abnormalities of the vulva.

Epispadias is rare in either sex though much more so in girls, and typically apparent at birth. Early surgery is the preferred means to correct the defects, which preserves fertility and sexual function, restores the genitalia to normal appearance, and helps establish urinary continence (the ability to control the flow of URINE). Prenatal ultrasound sometimes can detect epispadias before birth. There are no measures to prevent epispadias.

See also BIRTH DEFECTS; BLADDER EXSTROPHYHYPOSPADIASPRENATAL CARE.

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