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Insights: Hypospadias

Hypospadias is a common birth defect in boys where the opening of the urethra is not located at the tip of the penis. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. It is estimated that hypospadias affects about 1 in every 200 boys. The condition is most often diagnosed during a physical exam shortly after birth. The exact cause of hypospadias is unknown. I...

Hypospadias

Most boys are born with a penis that looks normal and works well. But some boys are born with a common condition called hypospadias. Hypospadias forms a penis that not only doesn't work well but also doesn't look normal. Pediatric urologists have come up with many surgical techniques to fix this problem. The following information should help you speak to your son's urologist. How Does the Penis No...

Hypospadias

A short summary of Hypospadias, including signs, treatments, and questions to ask the health care team.

Causes

The key steps in forming the penis take place between weeks 9 and 12 of pregnancy. During this time, male hormones tell the body to form the urethra and foreskin. Hypospadias may be caused by problems with hormones.

Treatment

Hypospadias Image © 2003 Fairman Studios, LLC. Hypospadias is fixed with surgery. Surgeons have been correcting hypospadias since the late 1800s. More than 200 types of operations have been described. But since the modern era of hypospadias reconstruction began in the 1980s, only a handful of techniques have been used by pediatric urologists. The goal of any type of hypospadias surgery is ...

Diagnosis

Hypospadias is most often noticed at birth. Not only is the meatus in the wrong place, but the foreskin is often not completely formed on its underside. This results in a "dorsal hood" that leaves the tip of the penis exposed. It's often the way the foreskin looks that calls attention to the problem. Still, some newborns have an abnormal foreskin with the meatus in the normal place. And in others ...

After Treatment

Modern hypospadias surgery results in a penis that works well and looks normal (or nearly normal). Many surgeons leave a small tube ("catheter") in the penis for a few days after surgery to keep urine from touching the fresh repair. The catheter drains into the diaper. Antibiotics are often given while the catheter is in place. Younger boys seem to have less discomfort after repair. When the surge...

More Information

Frequently Asked Questions Is hypospadias passed through genes? In about 7 out of 100 children with hypospadias, the father also had it. The chance that a second son will be born with hypospadias is about 12 out of 100. If both father and brother have hypospadias, the risk in a second boy increases to 21 out of 100. Is it necessary to fix distal hypospadias? Many parents ask if surgery is needed f...

Symptoms

DSDs can cause a range of problems. Some of the signs include: Sex organs that don't look male or female Menstruation can begin at an odd age Hormonal or electrolyte imbalances Hypospadias can form. This is where the penis opening is not at the tip, and the testes have not dropped

Public Education Council

We are proud to have the advice and guidance of the experts listed below, all of whom are leaders in the field of urology, research and patient education in the United States, to continually update and review the information we use to educate the public. Chair: T. Ernesto Figueroa, MD Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmington, DEAUA Mid–Atlantic Section Clinical interests i...

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