Hypospadias is a birth defect (congenital condition) in which the urethra opens on the underside of the penis rather than at the tip. The urethra is the tube through which urine exits your body from your bladder.
Hypospadias is common and doesn't cause difficulty in caring for your infant. The normal appearance of your child's penis is usually restored by surgery. Most males can resume normal urination and reproduction after successfully treating hypospadias.
The urethra forms abnormally in boys with hypospadias during weeks 8-14 of pregnancy. The abnormal opening can appear anywhere from just below the end of the penis to the scrotum. Hypospadias can be mild or severe.
Signs and symptoms of hypospadias may include:
- Opening of the urethra at a location other than the tip of the penis
- Downward curve of the penis (chordee)
- Undeveloped foreskin
- Abnormal spraying during urination
- Undescended testicle Diagnosis
Hypospadias is usually diagnosed during a physical examination after the baby is born.
The goal of hypospadias repair is to have a straight penis with a urethra at the penis tip. A baby boy with hypospadias should not be circumcised because the doctor may need to use the foreskin to make some repairs. Most forms of hypospadias can be corrected in a single surgery that's done on an outpatient basis. Some hypospadias cases will necessitate more than one surgery to correct the defect.
If surgery is required, it is usually performed when the boy is between the ages of 3 and 18 months. In some cases, surgery is performed in stages. Some of the repairs made during the surgery may include repositioning the urethral opening, correcting the penis curve, and repairing the skin around the urethral opening.
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