Archived Responses: 

March 2002

My son has hypospadia and hypocordia (minor genital birth defect). We opted to not pursue surgery when he was an infant, as the hypospadia is mild and the extent of the hypocordia could not be determined until he got an erection. Also, we were not given any compelling reasons why surgery in infancy was better than waiting until he was old enough to decide for himself (and waitng for suregery techniques to improve even more). Well he's now 7 and I think we need to start developing a relationship with a urologist before he hits adolescence. I was thinking we would work with Sumner Marshall but I hear that he is about to retire. I am worried that most urologists will be one trick ponies who advocate ''cutting'' without much discussion of anything else. I am wondering what other families have done and who they have worked with. Thanks!

Hi, My son was born with hypospadia and we are going ahead with the procedure to correct it once he is one year old. We have met with Dr. Chi Lee who is in the same practice as the Dr. you mentioned (I believe he has actually already retired). We decided to go ahead with the surgery because at least in our son's case, it is off enough that as he gets older he would most likely end up urinating on his shoes and later in adulthood the Dr. said that he could have trouble with sperm placement if he wanted to have children. I think it might be worth you meeting with Dr. Lee (he came highly recommended to us and other parents in the ''network'' have responded to me about him as well). mom
My son does not have the problem that you are facing, but a few months ago we had to see a urologist for another minor problem. The first doctor we saw was in Marshal's practice, and he very quickly recommended cutting, which seemed extreme to me. He offered few other alternatives, and none that were non-invasive. We sought a second opinion with Hiep Nguen at UCSF pediatric urology department. I can't recommend him highly enough. He was kind and caring, took time to explain to us the situation, gave us a stack of papers to read about the problem and current medical options (many from Europe, where circumcision is not the norm), and solved our son's problem with a simple topical cream. He was also available via email during the treatment period for any questions we had (we had to apply the cream for three weeks). I felt there was a world of differences between practices--UCSF seemed to be much more current on new proceedures and treatments. Good luck to you and your son! Anonymous