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Definition of Hypospadias
Hypospadias is a congenital anomaly in which the urethra is shorter than normal and exits along the underside of the penis in a boy or into the vagina in a girl. Though uncommon overall, hypospadias is very rare in girls. In boys, chordee (severely curved penis) often accompanies hypospadias.
The preferred treatment is surgery to extend the urethra to its normal length and path. In boys, such surgery also includes correction of the chordee. The surgery establishes normal urination and, in boys, restores structural integrity to the penis that will permit sexual function and fertility later in life.
The urologist typically performs the operation when the child is between 6 and 12 months of age. More than 90 percent of such corrective surgery produces a functionally and cosmetically acceptable repair. Some children may need more than one operation, notably boys in whom the urethral opening is near the base of the penis.
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