Hypospadias is a rare birth defect where the opening of the urethra in males is on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip. The result is a penis that doesn't function well or have a normal appearance. It is a fairly common birth defect — nearly 1 in every 200 boys is born with hypospadias.


Hypospadias is usually noticed at birth. In newborns with hypospadias, the meatus (point where urine exits the urethra) is not in the correct place, and the foreskin may not be completely formed. This results in a dorsal "hood" that exposes the tip of the penis. 

Hypospadias Repair Surgery

At UC San Diego Health, we correct hypospadias with surgery, with a goal to make the penis straight and a urinary channel that ends near or at the tip.

The procedure includes positioning of the meatus, as well as reconstruction or circumcision of the foreskin.

The procedure generally takes 90 minutes. In some cases, it may need to be repaired in stages. The procedure is usually recommended in the first 6 to 12 months as younger babies tend to have less discomfort after repair.

Complications After Hypospadias Repair

Our team provides revisional surgery for adults seeking treatment of complications following hypospadias repair.

Complications usually associated with hypospadias repair include:

  • Strictures
  • Wound breakdown and fistulae

Hypospadias surgical repair in infancy can sometimes lead to complications in adulthood, such as urethral strictures or fistulas.

Appointments and Referrals


La Jolla

Meet Our Specialist

Dr. Jill Buckley, a leading expert in male reconstructive urology, has co-authored numerous research studies and several surgical textbooks on urethral reconstruction, acute urinary trauma management and genitourinary reconstruction. She is nationally recognized for her work in complex urinary reconstruction.