Understanding Hypospadias

Hypospadias is a congenital condition in boys (occurring during development in the womb) where the opening of the urethra (the tube that carries both urine and sperm outside of the body through the penis) is not in its normal position at the tip of the penis, but rather the opening is located on the underside of the penis.

Rest assured that if your son is born with this condition, Dr. Kern and the team at Chesapeake Urology for Children are well versed in techniques to correct the problem. The team understands that this is also a stressful time for you as parents and will walk you through the process of treatment, which will entail surgery to correct your son’s anatomy and help ensure normal development as he grows. You will develop a long-term relationship with the pediatric urology team, from initial diagnosis and treatment through recovery and follow-up exams.

Surgery will often be necessary to correct your son’s condition. Dr. Kern has the depth of experience in performing the surgical procedures necessary to correct hypospadias, with a focus on full reconstruction of the structures that did not fully develop. The outlook for children who undergo hypospadias repair typically is very good, with the majority of cases resulting in a good cosmetic appearance and a fully functioning penis.

Diagnosing Hypospadias

Right after birth, your son will have a physical examination performed by the OB/Gyn or pediatrician which, in most cases, will identify the anatomical condition of hypospadias. You will be referred to a pediatric urologist who is well trained in treating and correcting the condition. Your pediatric urologist will determine the severity of the hypospadias and extent of the reconstruction needed. In some cases, the opening may be near the tip of the penis and, in more severe cases, the urethral opening may be located near the base of the penis or near the scrotum.

During your son’s initial physical exam, in addition to finding the urethral opening underneath the penis, the physician might also find that your son had associated conditions such as:

  • Chordee, or a downward curve of the penis
  • A downward urine stream
  • Extra foreskin, forming a “hood” over the back of the penis
  • An abnormal appearance of the glans, or tip of the penis

Treatment for Hypospadias

The treatment for any form of hypospadias is surgery performed by Dr. Adam Kern, who is experienced in the condition as well as the complexity of the procedure itself. Surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure between 9 and 12 months of age.

Dr. Kern and his team will sit with you to outline the procedure and what you can expect to ensure that you are comfortable with the surgery. He will also explain what you can expect after surgery and the recovery process. The outcomes are typically very positive for boys who have surgery to correct hypospadias. Dr. Kern stresses to parents that it is important to maintain a positive outlook and to feel confident in the hands of a well-trained pediatric urologist and the experienced team at Chesapeake Urology Children. You and the pediatric urology team
will be building a long-term relationship that will help ensure the success of the repair as your child grows and matures.

About Surgical Treatment for Hypospadias

The treatment for any form of hypospadias is surgery. Dr. Adam Kern explains the three main elements of this surgical repair and what to expect before and after surgery.

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