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Hypospadias

more about Hypospadias


  • Hypospadias is a congenital problem with the opening of the penis, or "meatus."  Children with this disorder have the meatus placed in an abnormal position, along the underside of the penis, rather than at the tip.

  • The main symptom is the abnormal placement of the meatal opening, which is found along the underside of the penis, in the midline.
  • The exact position of the opening varies in patients with this condition; the reason for this variance is not known.
  • Because of the way the penis and foreskin are formed in the fetus, babies with this condition will also have an abnormal foreskin.  Most commonly, it will look like a "cape" extending along the top of the penis.
  • Even though the opening is in an abnormal place, it still connects to the bladder, so urine will exit from it.

  • Diagnosis is usually made by the obvious abnormality on physical examination.  If there is a question about a possible hypospadias, some doctors will attempt to thread a small catheter into the opening to see if it is patent.  Others will press gently on the infant's abdomen to encourage him to urinate, and then watch to see where the urine exits the body.
  • Because hypospadias is often associated with other urinary tract abnormalities, many children with this condition require other specialized studies to look for problems with the bladder or kidneys.  The decision to do these tests depends upon the degree of hypospadias.

  • Treatment for hypospadias is surgical.
  • Because of the risk of surgery and anesthesia are greatest early in life, this operation is nearly always postponed until after the first birthday.
  • Repair of the hypospadias is done by using the foreskin to fashion a new position for the meatus.  For this reason, it is very important that babies with hypospadias are not circumcised.

  • Occasionally, the meatus opens on the underside of the scrotum (in the midline), or onto the small area of skin between the anus and the back edge of the scrotum.  This is still hypospadias.
  • In this situation, urine leaves the bladder, travels down the urethra, and comes out the urethral opening under the scrotum, or in front of the anus.

  • See your pediatrician immediately.




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