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Pathology > Study Images > Male Genitals > Penis > Congenital Anomalies
Objectives Anat & Hist Congenital Infectious Benign Malignant

II. Congenital Anomalies


After completing this section will know:

  • the most frequently encountered congenital abnormalities
  • the distinguishing features of various abnormalities
  • the clinical importance of each abnormality

Congenital malformations of the penis are relatively uncommon. The most frequently encountered abnormalities involve the formation of the urethral groove and the prepuce.

  1. Hypospadias

When the urethra opens abnormally on the ventral (inferior) surface of the penis, the condition is termed a hypospadias.

  1. Epispadias

This term is used to describe the condition in which the abnormal urethral opening is on the dorsal surface of the penis. It is rare and is almost invariably associated with defects in the urethral valve, leading to urinary incontinence. Patients with hypospadias do not typically have this difficulty.

These conditions are important because they are usually associated with recurrent infections. The abnormal opening may be constricted causing partial urinary obstruction, which leads to bacterial spread from the blocked penile urethra into the bladder. Also infertility may result from inability to properly inseminate. Both conditions are amenable to plastic surgical correction.

  1. Phimosis

When the foreskin or prepuce cannot be retracted over the glans because of an abnormally small orifice, the patient is said to have a phimosis. The condition may also be acquired through inflammatory scarring of the prepuce. It is the most common of the penile malformation.

Question: Why is phimosis important?

  1. Paraphimosis

When a phimotic prepuce is forcibly retracted over the glans and cannot be restored, paraphimosis results. This causes painful swelling of the glans and is a medical emergency because of the compromised blood flow with the potential for gangrenous necrosis of the glans. Also urethral constriction causes acute retention of urine.

Objectives Anat & Hist Congenital Infectious Benign Malignant