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Rady Children's Specialists


What is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is present when the opening that your child urinates out of is located on the underside of the penis. This can occur anywhere from the head of the penis all the way down to the scrotum. The foreskin may appear abnormal with extra foreskin on top of the penis but very little to no foreskin on the underside of the penis. Lastly, the penis may bend downward which appears more severe when the penis is erect.

What are signs of hypospadias?

Hypospadias is usually diagnosed on physical exam right after your baby is born. Sometimes, hypospadias is not discovered until time of circumcision. The opening that your child urinates out of is found to be on the underside of the penis instead of the tip. He may appear to have two separate openings, one at the tip and one on the underside of the penis. When severe enough, it can make standing to void difficult. When the penile bend is severe enough, intercourse later in life may also be difficult.

What causes hypospadias and how common is it?

Hypospadias happens when the hole that your child urinates out of does not develop correctly. The exact cause is unknown. It occurs in 1 out of every 250-300 boys.

What testing needs to be done to make the diagnosis?

Hypospadias is diagnosed based on physical examination which usually occurs by your pediatrician at their well child checks.

How is hypospadias treated?

Hypospadias requires surgery to fix. The best time to surgically repair this is between 6-18 months of age. Usually the repair can take place in one surgery. However, if more severe cases the surgery may require more than one stage which is usually separated by about six months. Following repair, a urine tube is left in the penis for 7-10 days and removed in the clinic.