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Hypospadias is a congenital disability in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis. The urethra is the tube through which urine drains from your bladder and exits the body. This common condition is generally diagnosed right after birth while the mother is still in the hospital. Surgery typically restores the standard appearance but is not always necessary.

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What causes hypospadias?

Like many congenital disabilities, doctors are not exactly sure why some baby boys have hypospadias. Theories include genetic factors, fertility treatments, the mother's age and weight, exposure to smoking, and premature birth. Women can reduce the chance of hypospadias in their newborn by maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy and taking enough folic acid each day.

what is Hypospadias

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Is hypospadias painful?

Many mothers may worry that hypospadias is painful for their sons. However, this condition won’t cause any physical pain and does not adversely affect urination. That said, if left untreated, hypospadias may make it difficult to direct the urine stream and can make some adolescents and adult men self-conscious.

Hypospadias pain

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Do all boys with hypospadias need surgery?

Not every boy with hypospadias requires surgery. If it is a very mild case, doctors may determine the condition will not have a significant impact on his life. Often, parents of boys with even minor abnormalities will still opt for surgery for cosmetic reasons. A conversation between you and your medical provider will help determine the best route.

Hypospadias surgery

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Are there any medical alternatives to surgery?

Surgery remains the only way to resolve hypospadias. The operation will address the urinary difficulties, straighten and repair the penis for cosmetic purposes, and ensure full function as an adult. Although the thought of your baby having a procedure can be scary, it is common with rare complications and poses minimal risks.

Hypospadias babies

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When should the operation be scheduled?

When the surgery occurs largely depends on the kind of hypospadias your child has. It also depends on whether he was diagnosed at birth, as most boys are, or later. Generally, if surgery is necessary, it is recommended between four and six months old. Your medical provider will explain the entire process, but it is quite simple.

Hypospadias baby

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What kind of care is necessary after surgery?

Likewise, the kind of care after surgery depends on the time of diagnosis. In general, however, following the one-step operation, you can take your baby home. Some pain and fever are possible for a day or two after the procedure. Parents can expect follow-up appointments with the doctor.

Hypospadias recovery

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Will hypospadias affect circumcision?

Babies born with hypospadias that requires surgery cannot receive a circumcision at birth due to the abnormalities of the urethra and foreskin. However, if you wish to have your son circumcised, this can be done later; some even do it the same day as the hypospadias procedure, while in the operating room. Sometimes the foreskin may be needed for tissue grafts during the operation.

Hypospadias and circumcision

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What are common problems after surgery?

One of the most frequently asked questions involving surgery, especially for infants, regards post-surgery complications. Common problems after a hypospadias operation include mild pain, spasms, and blood spots. An infection at the site of the operation is also possible.

Hypospadias problems

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Does hypospadias surgery impact potty training?

Most medical providers recommend hypospadias surgery long before potty training begins. Having the surgery so young means there will be plenty of time to heal before the child reaches potty training age, which is rarely earlier than 18 months. The operation should not impact potty training at all.

Hypospadias potty training

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Can my baby get surgery purely for cosmetic reasons?

A doctor can perform hypospadias surgery for cosmetic reasons, even if it’s not medically necessary. It is common for physicians to perform hypospadias repairs at a young age to prevent embarrassing social factors later in life. Physicians may perform the surgery to straighten the penis and remove the excess foreskin. It is ultimately your decision whether you would like your son to have the procedure.

Hypospadias choices

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.