Hypospadias: A Troublesome But Treatable Birth Defect

Four out of 1,000 newborn males may develop hypospadias, a congenital defect in which the urethral opening is located not on the tip, but the underside of the penis. Depending the cause, however, families may seek legal compensation for the treatment of this birth defect.

Hypospadias’ Symptoms And Treatment Options

Identified by signs such as a downward curve of the erect penis and abnormal spraying during urination, this birth defect may at first be a cosmetic problem and a nuisance. But if left untreated, hypospadias can lead to difficulty with toilet training, painful narrowing of the urethra, and possible interference with erections and semen delivery during sexual intercourse.

Most urologists recommend repair of the defect before a boy is 18 months old, even as early as four months. The penis is straightened and the hypospadias corrected using tissue grafts from the foreskin.  If the hypospadias is particularly acute, multiple surgeries and mucosal grafting may be required.

Drugs That May Trigger Hypospadias

For over thirty-five years, over two million Americans afflicted with epilepsy have been prescribed anticonvulsant medications such as Tegretol (carbamazepine). Tegretol, manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, has also been approved for syndromes like nerve pain and bipolar disorder.

A 2010 British Medical Journal study involving 2,680 women who became pregnant while taking Tegretol found that almost 4% of infants whose mothers took the drug during the first trimester of their pregnancy developed one or more birth defects including hypospadias. Such studies prompted the FDA to label Tegretol as a pregnancy category D medication, potentially harmful to a fetus. Synthetic progestins and finasteride, if used in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, and especially diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogen, may also cause the defect.

Recovering Medical Costs Associated with Hypospadias

Families whose male children suffer from hypospadias may be eligible for legal compensation to recover costs for surgery and long-term treatment. The legal team at Chaffin Luhana, led by Eric Chaffin, a former federal prosecutor, and Roopal Luhana, a nationally recognized consumer and patients’ rights attorney, has the knowledge and experience to protect your rights and determine if you can obtain such legal remedies.

If you believe your child has suffered a birth defect due to prescribed use of Tegretol or other drugs, contact one of Chaffin Luhana’s team of attorneys at 1-888-480-1123 for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help.