Hypospadias is a relatively common birth (congenital) defect in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis rather than on the end. The urethra is the tube that drains urine from the bladder.
Hypospadias occurs in up to 4 in 1,000 newborn boys. The cause is often unknown. However, the condition can sometimes be passed down through families.
Symptoms depend on how severe the problem is. Most often, boys with this condition have the opening of the urethra near the tip of the penis on the underside. More severe forms of hypospadias occur when the opening is in the middle or base of the penis. Rarely, the opening is located in or behind the scrotum.
This condition may cause a downward curve of the penis during an erection. Erections are common in infant boys.
Other symptoms include:
- Abnormal spraying of urine
- Having to sit down to urinate
- Foreskin that makes the penis looks like it has a "hood"
This problem is almost always diagnosed soon after birth during a physical exam. Imaging tests may be done to look for other congenital defects.
Infants with hypospadias should not be circumcised. The foreskin should be kept for use in later surgical repair.
In most cases, surgery is done before the child starts school. Some urologists recommend repair before the child is 18 months old. However, surgery can be done as young as one year old. During the surgery, the penis is straightened and the opening is corrected using tissue grafts from the foreskin. The repair may require several surgeries.
Call to schedule an appointment with Prevea Urology:
Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay and Oconto Falls (920) 436-1359
Sheboygan, Plymouth and Manitowoc (920) 458-6664
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