Hypospadias, all there is to know

van der Horst HJ1, de Wall LL2

Eur J Pediatr. 2017 Apr;176(4):435-441. doi: 10.1007/s00431-017-2864-5. Epub 2017 Feb 11


Hypospadias is one of the most common congenital anomalies in men. The condition is typically characterized by proximal displacement of the urethral opening, penile curvature, and a ventrally deficient hooded foreskin. In about 70%, the urethral meatus is located distally on the penile shaft; this is considered a mild form that is not associated with other urogenital deformities. The remaining 30% are proximal and often more complex. In these cases, endocrinological evaluation is advised to exclude disorders of sexual differentiation, especially in case of concomitant unilateral or bilateral undescended testis. Although the etiology of hypospadias is largely unknown, many hypotheses exist about genetic predisposition and hormonal influences. The goal of hypospadias repair is to achieve cosmetic and functional normality, and currently, surgery is recommended between 6 and 18 months of age. Hypospadias can be corrected at any age with comparable complication risk, functional, and cosmetic outcome; however, the optimal age of repair remains conclusive. Although long-term overall outcome concerning cosmetic appearance and sexual function is fairly good, after correction, men may more often be inhibited in seeking sexual contact. Moreover, lower urinary tract symptoms occur twice as often in patients undergoing hypospadias repair and can still occur many years after the initial repair.


This study explores the most recent insights into the management of hypospadias. What is Known: • Guidelines advise referral for treatment between 6 and 18 months of age. • Cosmetic outcome is considered satisfactory in over 70% of all patients. What is New: • Long-term complications include urinary tract symptoms and sexual and cosmetic issues. • New developments allow a more individualized approach, hopefully leading to less complications and more patient satisfaction.