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Hypospadias (malformation of the penis)

What is hypospadias?

Hypospadias is a congenital anomaly (meaning present at birth) in which the urethra (tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body) does not develop correctly. As such, the opening through which one urinates is not located at the tip of the penis.

Instead, the opening may be somewhere on the underside of the glans (head of the penis) or on the shaft (main part of the penis).

In severe cases, the opening may be at the base of the shaft at the scrotum (the sac of skin that contains the testicles) or even sometimes below the scrotum.

Symptoms of a malformed penis

Oftentimes when hypospadias is found there may be several physical findings associated with the problem.

Such findings may include:

  • Abnormal location of the meatus (opening at the end of the urethra) on the penis
  • Abnormal appearance of the foreskin (layer of skin covering the glans) and penis
  • Abnormal direction of the urine stream
  • Curvature of penis (a condition called “chordee”)


Hypospadias may require surgical correction depending on the location of the meatus. Likewise, the surgical approach for hypospadias depends on the severity.

Your pediatric urology surgeon will discuss with you the severity of the hypospadias, as well as the surgical approach they feel is best suited for your child.

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