21 answers

Hypospadias Repair

Have any of you had a son with a hypospadias and NOT gotten it fixed? We are planning to have the surgery done on our son but I am, of course, a bit nervous about having someone cut on my baby and have been thinking "How necessary is this, really? Is standing up to pee that important, or is it an arbitrary social convention that's not worth subjecting him to pain?" I mean, we decided against circumcision for that reason--we feel we shouldn't put him through a painful surgery that doesn't have a clear health benefit. The ped. urologist we saw also said that Europeans usually don't bother fixing it--it is more an American thing and done largely for the sake of "normal" potty training. And he does about 100 a year and is very good at it, I'm sure he will make it as easy and painless as possible, I'm just having a slight case of cold feet and would like to hear from anyone who's been through this. How did you decide, one way or the other? and if you decided against, how have you helped your son deal with it as he grew?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks, everyone, for your advice & encouragement. To clarify a bit, his is a mild second-degree case (right at the end of the shaft)--not as serious as some, but enough that he would have to sit down to avoid peeing on his leg (the pee comes out at almost a 90-degree angle to his penis) and it might be a fertility issue since things wouldn't be, um, launched in the right direction. So we figured it would end up being pretty frustrating for him. And it's true, I had enough embarrassment in my teens because some of my TOES are kinda funny looking--I can only imagine the boys'-bathroom ordeals. Stupid boys. The surgery is still a go, I've just been having a bit of "have-we-considered-all-the-options" anxiety. Glad to hear all your little guys recovered so quickly.

More Answers

My opinion is do it. My son had surgery when he was 4 months old and it was tougher on me than him. It was major surgery on his neck and the surgery itself was much more dangerous than what you are describing. My advice to you would be to think about his future in the locker room and later on as well. It will be much less of an pain issue now than when he grows up. My little guy was a little groggy the day of the surgery but we brought him home the next day and you would never have known he had had surgery. They kept him on Morphine the day of and he wasn't feeling any pain. They will take good care of him. My husband is an Anesthesiologist and they take care of all their patients, but the little ones get even more attention and care. Do it for your little man's future embarrassments. It won't be a big deal. They will keep the pain well under control for him. Good luck with what ever you decide. M., one more thing. I would also consider getting his circumcision done at the same time while he is under. Social and sexual issues there too. One of my cousins husband was not circumcised and it really "grossed her out". Kids suffer so much from other kids being mean, do what you can to protect him if its something like this.

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My son had a hypospadias and I did get it repaired. I felt it was important for his future. It really didn't seem painful at all. I had to put a cream on it afterward for about 3 days at that was it. I didn't even see blood. I was very surprised at how quick and easy it was.

Good luck with your decision.


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No, my sons did not have this condition, but as a healthcare provider (RN) I suggest you go ahead with the surgery. Peer pressure in the locker room, public bathroom can be harsh. Face it, kids can be cruel to those who are "different" or "weird". Europeans are freer with their ideas of "normal" than Americans. Also, I have had to deal with the results of hypospadias with older men who are hospitalized and needing catheterized. It's not easy and often painful, especially if there has been damage to the external genitalia-I work in trauma critical care. Good luck and relax, I know it's hard.

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I admit upfront that I have zero experience with this. I do, however, have a 6 year old son. It may not seem necessary to you, but for a growing child who is CONSTANTLY compared to peers, it'll probably be important to him. Anything that makes them different is a potential target for teasing or rejection. My son is in first grade, their are urinals in the boys bathroom and most boys use them during the restroom trips. So yes, they are all in there pee'ing at the same time. I can't imagine it changing as they move into Jr High and High School and are in the locker rooms. I also caught him and a friend having a peeing contest in the snow last winter. No, I don't understand it. Yes, I told him it wasn't appropriate. Yes, he'll probably be doing it again. Boys will be boys and all that. Who knows what is going around in their brain.

Is it something that has to be done NOW? Could you wait a few years and ask him how he feels about it once he's school age? Or will it be more painful or a harder recovery if it's done when he's older? If so, I'd go ahead and do it now while he's too young to remember.

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When you are making your decision just keep in mind that as kids grow every little difference puts a target on their back with some of the kids at school. While it might not seem like a big deal or really make any sense to us, I remember my brothers talking about "peeing contests" in school where they would stand back and see who could "shoot" the furthest (glad I'm not a school custodian). That was just the kind of stuff that happened in the boys bathroom/locker room at school. I would definitely talk to some men in your life to get their take on your decision. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Our son had surgery for this at 10 months and was groggy for one day then started walking the next day! He is almost 2 and you would never know he'd ever had a problem. His was along the shaft so we really felt it was neccesarily for him to have the best quality of life to have it fixed. Don't wait until they are older, around age 2 is when they start to retain memories and you don't want him to have memory of that. Our opinion was, why not fix something so easy and possibly save him future heartbreak. Good luck!

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Hi M....I have a 5 yr old son who had his hypospadias repaired when he was just over a year old. (We also have two daughters, ages 7 and 9. We were so happy to finally have our boy and then to find out he was born with a defect on, of all places, his little man part!) Anyway, after researching pros and cons of having it repaired we decided to definitely have it done. We were not too worried about his potty training. We were more concerned about any problems he could have sexually. Embarrassment caused by peers was another concern. Mostly we just wanted him to be as "normal" as possible...and to one day have grandchildren. ;)

WE were more affected by the whole prodecure (emotionally) than he was! (He doesn't remember any of it.) He had a few complications (his stent came out on it's own before it was supposed to) but we had a great doctor that took wonderful care of him. He was on paind meds for just a few days. His recovery was quick. He healed beautifully and looks just as normal as any other little boys that I've seen!

Good luck!

P.S. The pediactic urology team at Children's here in Columbus is EXCELLENT, if that's where you would have him done. =-)

1 mom found this helpful

Dear M.,
If I understand you correctly, you don't want to give your son unnecessary pain by circumcision. He will have to go to urinate by sitting down the rest of his life? If that is the case, he will be ridculed his entire life as a boy, teenager and on. Circumcision should be done on 8 days after birth because that is when vitamin K kicks in(to clot blood). I hesitated to have my son go under it but I am glad I did. He would always think something is "wrong" with him. Think about him as far as the future holds if you did not get it done. L. J

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