This surgery is used to treat a condition called hypospadias. This condition affects the penis and urethra. The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body so that urine can exit. With hypospadias, the opening of the urethra develops on the underside of the penis. The goal of surgery is to put the opening of the urethra at the tip of the penis.
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The surgery is done on male children born with hypospadias. Some males will not have problems from hypospadias. In some, the condition may make it difficult for the child to urinate while standing. It may also affect sexual function.
The surgery is typically done at age 3-18 months old. It can also be done in older children and adults. In infants with hypospadias, circumcision should not be done. Tissue from the foreskin may be used if surgery is done to correct the hypospadias.
Complications may occur after hypospadias surgery. The further the opening is from the tip of the penis, the higher the complication rate. If your child is having hypospadias surgery, the doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Discuss these risks with the doctor before the surgery.
The doctor may do the following:
Talk to the doctor about your child’s medications and supplements. Your child may need to stop certain medications before the surgery. The doctor may also ask that your child take certain medications to prepare for surgery.
Your child will need to have an empty stomach before the procedure. Ask the doctor when your child will need to stop eating.
General anesthesia is used during surgery. This will keep your child asleep and block any pain.
This is usually done in an outpatient setting. Your child will not need to stay in the hospital overnight.
Your child will be prepared for surgery. IVs will be placed in his arms for medications and fluids. Several techniques may be used to reconstruct the urethra. The doctor will attempt to use existing urethral tissue to:
Tissue may be taken from the foreskin or mouth to reconstruct the urethra. Incisions and graft procedures may also be needed to loosen certain areas of tissue to straighten the penis or correct other problems. A temporary catheter or stent may be placed in the penis for up to 2 weeks. This will allow your child to urinate. Bandages will be placed around the penis.
More complex cases may require a two-stage surgery approach.
1½ to 3 hours
Your child will be asleep during surgery. He will not feel any pain. After the procedure, the doctor will give your child pain medication.
The staff will provide care to make your child more comfortable and promote recovery. Pain medications and antibiotics may be given. Swelling at the surgery area is normal.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your child's chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your child's chances of infection such as:
When your child returns home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
After arriving home, contact the doctor if your child has any of the following:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Urological Association
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
Canadian Urological Association
Canning DA. Can we correct hypospadias with a staged operation? If not, are we bold enough to report it? J Urol. 2015 Aug;194(2):284-285.
Hypospadias. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 14, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015.
Hypospadias/chordee. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/info/urinary/diagnose/hypospadias.htm. Updated June 2013. Accessed November 28, 2015.
Schlomer B, Breyer B, et al. Do adult men with untreated hypospadias have adverse outcomes? A pilot study using a social media advertised survey. J Pediatr Urol. 2014 Aug;10(4):672-679.
Schneuer FJ, Holland AJ, et al. Prevalence, repairs, and complications of hypospadias: an Austrailian population-based study. Arch Dis Child. 2015 Nov;100(11):1038-1043.
Last reviewed November 2015 by Adrienne Carmack, MD Last Updated: 12/20/2014