Hypospadias | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is hypospadias diagnosed?

Hypospadias can only rarely be seen on fetal ultrasound, so doctors typically diagnose it just after the baby is born, during his first physical examination. Because the mildest forms of hypospadias can be overlooked, you should contact your doctor if you notice that your son’s urethral opening is not at the tip of his penis, that his penis curves downward or his foreskin is not fully developed. Upon diagnosing hypospadias, your doctor should refer your son to a pediatric urologic surgeon.

How is hypospadias treated?

Surgery remains the best and only way to correct all but the mildest cases of hypospadias.

A pediatric urological surgeon can perform the procedure, ideally when your son is between 6 to 12 months old. Although the technique may differ depending on your son’s individual case, the goals of surgery are usually the same:

  • to reposition the opening of urethra at the tip of the penis (urethroplasty)
  • to straighten the penis, if chordee is present (orthoplasty)
  • to improve the outward appearance of the penis (removing the hooded foreskin)

Hypospadias surgery typically lasts one to two hours and occurs under general anesthesia. Unless the hypospadias is severe, the surgeon will complete the repair in one stage. However, some more severe cases will require two stages, but that is relatively rare. Depending on the extent of surgery, your child may either go home the same day or stay in the hospital overnight. His clinical team will explain how to care for him during his recovery.