Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Treatment involves surgery to reposition the urethral opening and, if necessary, straighten the shaft of the penis.

What happens during surgery

During surgery, a pediatric urology surgeon uses tissue grafts from the foreskin or from the inside of the mouth to reconstruct the urinary channel in the proper position, correcting the hypospadias. The surgery usually takes from one to three hours and is done while the child is unconscious (general anesthesia). Rarely, the repair may require two or more surgeries.

When surgery is performed

Surgery is best done at an early age — usually between ages 3 months and 18 months. Generally, the earlier the surgery is done, the less traumatic it is for the child. But the procedure can be completed at any age and even into adulthood. Infants should not be circumcised before the procedure because the foreskin tissue may be needed for the surgery.

Complications of surgery

In most cases, surgical repair results in a penis with normal or near-normal function and appearance and no future problems. However, in a small number of cases, a hole (fistula) or scarring may develop along the underside of the penis where the new urinary channel was created. This can result in urine leakage and require an additional surgery for repair.

Jan. 22, 2011