What’s an epispadias?

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Epispadias is a congenital birth defect that affects the development of the urethra, causing the urethral opening to be in an abnormal position. It can cause urinary incontinence and infections, and surgery is usually required to treat it. The exact cause is unknown, but it may be related to abnormal pelvic bone formation or bladder exstrophy.

Epispadias is a rare type of birth defect. It is congenital, which means it is present when a child is born. The birth defect affects the proper development of the urethra. The urethra is a tube-shaped organ in the urinary tract through which urine leaves the body. This abnormality causes the urethral opening to be placed in an abnormal position.

In males with this condition, the opening to the urethra is usually located at the top of the penis. The urethral opening can also be along the sides and in either location, the opening can extend the length of the entire penis. In female epispadias, the opening of the urethra may be significantly longer, further back, and larger than usual. Male epispadias is different from epispadias hypospadias, which is a urethral abnormality that affects only males. In this condition the urethral opening is distinctly under the penis.

The exact cause of this urethral abnormality is unknown. Scientists have discovered a few factors that may contribute to the occurrence of the condition. The urethral opening may be abnormally positioned due to an abnormality in the formation of the pelvic bone. Another common cause is bladder exstrophy, which is a birth defect in which the bladder is usually inverted and protrudes through the abdomen. A person with an epispadias and bladder exstrophy has a case of epispadias of bladder exstrophy.

The symptoms of this condition can be similar in males and females. Symptoms in males may depend on where the opening is. Both genders can experience frequent cases of urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections. There may also be a remarkably large public bone. The genitals may appear deformed and urine usually flows abnormally.

While this condition is usually noticed on visual examination, some medical tests are usually done to find out more. Pelvic X-rays and ultrasounds are usually done, and multiple blood samples may be obtained. An intravenous pyelogram (IVP) may also be performed. In this test, special x-rays of urinary tract organs are taken, including the bladder, kidneys, and ureters.

Surgery is usually done to treat an epispadias. In most cases, individuals with this condition will have surgery performed early in life and commonly as children. Early surgery can prevent the bladder from becoming involved, if it isn’t already. Some variants of a urethroplasty are usually performed to reconstruct the abnormality. After surgery, some individuals with this condition may have persistent symptoms such as urinary incontinence.

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