How is hypospadias treated?

Hypospadias is treated with surgery. Urologists usually correct hypospadias when the child is between six and 12 months old because it is easier to take care of the surgery site, and the child is safe to undergo anesthesia.

New and better surgical methods have been developed that allow the operation to be done at an earlier age. This helps prevent many of the mental or emotional problems that boys with hypospadias can develop.

The goals of surgery are to correct curvature of the penis and to place the opening of the urethra in the right spot. Babies with hypospadias should not be circumcised. The extra skin from the foreskin may help the surgeon increase the length of or rebuild the urethra.

Surgery is done while the baby is under general anesthesia. The baby may need more than one surgery if the urologist wants to straighten the penis before fixing the urethra. However, it is usually corrected in one procedure. The baby can usually be taken home the same day of the surgery.

Once surgery is completed, the baby may have a small catheter (tube) in order to pass urine. The catheter will stay in place for anywhere from a few days to two weeks. The doctor will also prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of any infection, as well as pain drugs to help with any discomfort.

With modern technologies and techniques, hypospadias and chordee repair procedures are highly successful.

How do I care for my son after hypospadias surgery?

The medical staff will tell you how to care for your son while he is recovering, including instructions on bathing, tending to his bandage, and recognizing signs of infection or other complications.

As with any surgery, there is always the risk of infection or injury to the surgery site. It is important to follow the take-home instructions and closely watch your son's recovery and the surgery site.

The surgery site will begin recovering immediately, though the full healing process may take several months. Bruising and swelling are common after the surgery, and should go away in the first few weeks of recovery.

Do not let your son play on toys that require him to straddle, such as riding toys or walkers, until the doctor approves. Your son may also be more comfortable with double diapers to provide extra cushion.

Most recoveries continue without problems. However, call your pediatrician immediately if you notice that your son has any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 102 degrees or higher for more than 24 hours
  • Unable to urinate, or trouble urinating
  • Blue or gray discoloration at the tip of his penis
  • Pain medication does not seem to be helping
  • Bleeding from the surgery site

Please note that it is normal for urine to appear pink for the first few days after surgery.

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