Basic Facts

  • Hypospadias is a condition in which the penis fails to form completely, leaving the opening for passage of urine in an abnormal location below the tip of the penis.
  • Hypospadias can be corrected in 90 percent of cases with one surgery, which can occur at or soon after 6 months of age.
  • Ten to 15 percent of boys may need a second surgery to manage complications.

Hypospadias is a condition where the meatus (the opening of the penis) opens on the underside of the penis instead of the tip. In addition to the mislocation of the urinary tract opening, boys with hypospadias usually have an unformed foreskin on the underside of the penis. In many cases, the penis will curve downward so that it won’t straighten while erect, an associated condition known as chordee.


The penis of a male newborn with hypospadias will show the following physical characteristics:

  • The opening of the penis located on the underside of the head of the penis;
  • An unformed foreskin on the underside of the penis; and
  • A severe curvature of the penis.


Hypospadias is considered congenital, meaning that a boy is born with the condition. Chordee is usually caused by abnormal fibrous tissue on the shaft of the penis or if the chambers that fill with blood during an erection are different lengths.


Hypospadias and chordee are generally diagnosed during the first physical examination of a newborn male.


Surgery successfully corrects 90 percent of hypospadias cases in a single operation. Hypospadias and chordee are repaired during the same surgery under general anesthesia and typically on an outpatient basis. Rarely, severe cases of hypospadias can require an overnight hospital stay after surgery.

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