Hypospadias is a condition present from birth in which the opening of a boy’s urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body, isn’t located at the tip of the penis. It may be located on the head of the penis, along the shaft, or on the scrotum, which is the sac that contains the testicles. Depending on the location of the urethral opening, the condition can cause a misdirected urinary stream and lead to problems with sexual function later in life if the penis is also curved.
In the majority of boys born with hypospadias, the condition can be treated surgically.
In glanular hypospadias, the opening of the boy’s urethra is located on the head of the penis, but not at the tip. This is the mildest and most common form, and it may not require surgical correction, because it does not cause the urinary stream to be misdirected or the penis to be curved during an erection.
In subcoronal hypospadias, the opening of the boy’s urethra is located just below the head of the penis. The penis may curve mildly during an erection.
When the opening of the urethra is located midway between the edge of the head and the middle of the side of the penis, the child has distal hypospadias. The penis may curve mildly during an erection.
In midshaft hypospadias, the opening of the boy’s urethra is located halfway down the side of the penis. In penoscrotal hypospadias, the opening is located where the shaft meets the scrotum. Boys with this condition have a more pronounced curvature of the penis during an erection.
In perineal hypospadias, the scrotum is abnormally divided and the urethral opening is located along the center of the divided sac. The divided, or bifid, scrotum is reconstructed so that there is a normal appearing single scrotal sac, and penile curvature, which tends to be significant, is also corrected.
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