First described by Duckett in 1981, and initially employed for the surgical correction of mid-penile hypospadias, the onlay preputial island flap urethroplasty has progressively gained increasing popularity, extending its indication to proximal forms. However, with the complexity of the penile anomaly, the rate of postoperative complications related to poor tissue perfusion (including skin and glans dehiscence, urethral stenoses, and fistulas) has also increased.
Conventionally, the visual assessment of the onlay preputial island flap is the only option available to establish the appropriate tissue vascularization during surgery. To this end, we have first introduced the EleVision IR system (Medtronic Ltd., Hong Kong, China) to assess the vascular perfusion of the preputial island flap in a 13-month-old boy undergoing the onlay urethroplasty for the surgical correction of a mid-shaft hypospadias. This was possible 80 s after the intravenous injection of indocyanine green (ICG, 0.15 mg/kg, Diagnostic Green GmbH, Munich, Germany).
ICG-based laser angiography helped define the proximal resection margin of the preputial flap, and proved to be safe, effective, and easy to employ. This innovative intraoperative imaging modality can be considered a useful adjunct for tissue perfusion evaluation and intraoperative decision-making during the onlay preputial island flap urethroplasty in children.