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.
July 26, 2016
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 28, 2013.
- Hypospadias. American Urological Association. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=130&display=1. Accessed July 28, 2013.
- Baskin LS. Hypospadia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 28, 2013.
- Carmichael SL, et al. Environmental and genetic contributors to hypospadias: A review of the epidemiologic evidence. Birth Defects Research (Part A). 2012;94:499.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 11, 2013.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 15, 2013.