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"Understanding Hypospadias: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options"

Updated: Mar 29

Hypospadias: A Birth Defect of the Penis

Hypospadias is a condition present at birth (congenital) affecting the development of the penis. In normal development, the opening of the urethra (the tube carrying urine) is located at the tip of the penis. With hypospadias, this opening appears on the underside of the penis, anywhere from just below the tip to the scrotum. The foreskin (skin covering the penis) may also develop abnormally.

Symptoms and Concerns

Hypospadias can cause an abnormal urine stream, with urine spraying in different directions or directed downwards. In some cases, the penis may curve downward. These issues can potentially lead to problems with urination, sexual function, and fertility later in life.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Hypospadias is usually diagnosed shortly after birth based on the appearance of the penis. Surgery is the primary treatment option, often performed between 6 and 24 months of age. The goal of surgery is to correct the location of the urethral opening and straighten the penis, if necessary. In some cases, the foreskin from a circumcision may be used for the repair.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you notice any abnormalities in your child's penis, consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and discuss treatment options.

Key Takeaways

  • Hypospadias is a congenital condition where the urethral opening is located on the underside of the penis.

  • It can cause abnormal urine flow and a curved penis.

  • Surgery is typically performed in infancy to correct the placement of the opening and straighten the penis.

  • Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent future complications.

Additional Tips

  • Be prepared for your child's healthcare visit by noting down any questions or concerns you may have.

  • Discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with the healthcare provider.

  • Understand the importance of follow-up appointments.

A post explaining this in much greater detail and comparing it with epispadias is available under the category of Paediatric Urology blog posts.

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