The Male Reproductive System  
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Reasons for Procedure  

The surgery is done to treat male children born with hypospadias. The condition can make it difficult for the child to urinate while standing. It can also affect sexual function later in life.

The surgery is typically done at age 3-18 months old. It can also be done in older children and adults. In infants with hypospadias, circumcision should not be done. Tissue from the foreskin may be used if surgery is done to correct the hypospadias.


Possible Complications  

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If your child is having a hypospadias repair, the doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • A new opening on the underside of the penis called a fistula, causing urine leakage
  • Scarring/narrowing of the urethra that makes it difficult to urinate
  • Need for more surgery
  • Bleeding
  • Reaction to the anesthesia
  • Infection—wound infection or urinary tract infection
  • Psychological trauma

Discuss these risks with the doctor before the surgery.


What to Expect  

Prior to Procedure  

The doctor may do the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Imaging, blood, and urine tests
  • Discuss the anesthesia being used and the potential risks

Talk to the doctor about your child’s medications and supplements. Your child may need to stop certain medications before the surgery. The doctor may also ask that your child take certain medications to prepare for surgery.

Your child will need to have an empty stomach before the procedure. Ask the doctor when your child will need to stop eating.


General anesthesia is used during surgery. This will keep your child asleep and block any pain.

Description of Procedure  

This is usually done in an outpatient setting. Your child will not need to stay in the hospital overnight.

Your child will be prepared for surgery. IVs will be placed in his arms for medications and fluids. Several techniques may be used to reconstruct the urethra. The doctor will attempt to use existing urethral tissue to:

  • Divert the tube to the correct position
  • Widen the tube if needed

Tissue may be taken from the foreskin or mouth to reconstruct the urethra. Incisions and graft procedures may also be needed to loosen certain areas of tissue to straighten the penis or correct other problems. A temporary catheter or stent may be placed in the penis for up to two weeks. This will allow your child to urinate. Bandages will be placed around the penis.

More complex cases may require a two-stage surgery approach.

How Long Will It Take?  

1-½ to 3 hours

How Much Will It Hurt?