Full Circle

I knew I wasn’t alone, but I had no idea where to turn for a little support until my mother emailed me the link for this website. Thanks Mom.

My hypospadias surgeries were conducted over the years spanning ages 1 through 15. All told, there were 3. From age 15 on up, everything was fine. Until. . . . . . at age 28, I developed a urethral stricture in the area where the hypospadias surgery had been done. Nearly impossible to urinate and painful recurring infections. I was able to track down the surgeon who did the repair at age 15 for a referral. Though it was to another pediatric urologist, it was an excellent find and a great place to start. However, I would go under yet again for the urethral stricture procedure.

This procedure was some type of an “. . .oscopy” (sorry for not recalling exactly what it’s called). Basically it removed a flap of skin or “stricture” and opened up the narrow portion of the urethra to get things moving freely again. I was then to do “self dilation” with urethral sounds to maintain the proper urethral diameter. What a freakin’ inconvenience that was – sticking a surgical stainless rod in there to keep things dilated – EVERY MORNING. Brush your teeth. . . shower. . . shave. . . slide a metal rod in your WIENER! Try getting a prescription filled for that thing, by the way. Turns out, in my case, it worked for a little better than a year. Yes, things started progressively closing up again because of scarring from the surgery. Now here I am at age 30 on the eve of yet another procedure. And a big one, at that.

I will be undergoing a complete reversal of the hypospadias and urethral stricture repair(s) done over the years. However, this procedure is something I feel compelled to share with all of you.

Everything will be opened back up to the original opening half way down the shaft, in my case, and a skin graft from the lining of the inside of my mouth (about the size of your thumb) will be put in place. The graft(s) will heal over a 3 month period. The second procedure done at that time will close the skin graft(s) and penis around a catheter providing a very tough, pliable, and continuous “new” urethra and a permanent natural looking opening right at the tip. The catheter is then removed 1 week later. Done. No more self dilating, no more spraying when I urinate, no more sitting down. Here’s the kicker that means the most to me and everyone reading this. . . cosmetically, it will be better than anything done previously. I have seen color photos of the before, during, and after of this procedure, folks. Honest to God truth – I cried. Right there in the doctor’s office.

Thirty years later now, things have come around full circle to the point of birth as far as the surgeries go. A lot of bad memories of fear, embarrassment, and self-consciousness are coming back. It is very hard to focus on work and everyday life lately. But I’m here to tell you that I am VERY excited about this procedure. The doctor conducting the procedure is a professor of urological medicine at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He will be leaving his practice later this year (I got in just in time) to open – get this – a Urological Reconstructive Center in Oregon. This man is a saint.

I will be getting married between the 2 procedures this fall. My fiancee is VERY understanding and patient, and I love her even more for it. We both await the completion of this whole thing so we can have a really really really really really good honeymoon. . . .

Name Withheld