Kids Health Info

Hypospadias 3 - Care at home after repair

  • Hypospadias is an abnormality of the penis. It affects about one in 150 boys and is usually detected at birth.  There are different types of hypospadias. 

    Care at home

    • Your son may have a catheter or stent for about one week after his operation.
    • The hospital staff (doctors, nurses and stomal therapists) will teach you how to look after the catheter at home. Make sure you understand the instructions before you go home. Ask if you are not sure.
    • Staff will help you get equipment to care for your son's stent or catheter from the RCH EquipmentDistribution Centre
    • Remember to put Vaseline in your son's nappy, or on a pad in his underpants, to stop his penis sticking to nappies or clothing.
    • Encourage your son to drink plenty of fluids. This helps him to do wee often, which is important.
    • Give pain relief when needed. Panadol may be enough.
    • Give oral antibiotics as instructed.
    • Follow instructions from your son's doctors about the dressing on the penis. They will tell you when it needs to be soaked off.
    • Keep your son on restricted activities.
    • Add cooking salt (two tablelspoons) to bath water to improve personal hygiene.

    When to come back

    An appointment will be made for your son to come back and see his surgeon. Please make sure that this has been done before you leave the hospital. Return to the hospital or contact your son's surgeon if:

    • You cannot manage or control his pain.
    • Your son has a temperature over 38.5ºC.
    • The wound becomes infected (looks red, inflammed or is oozing).
    • If your son is not passing enough urine.  The wee will become very dark in colour if this happens.
    • If you have any concerns about the type of catheter your child has.
    • If the stent/catheter comes out before it is due to be removed.
    • If the dressing falls off before the due time.
    • If you are worried at all about your son.

    Checklist before leaving hospital

    I know:

    1. What kind of catheter my son has.
    2. How to look after it and I have all the equipment I need.
    3. How much pain relief to give my son, and when to give it.
    4. How much antibiotic medicine (if any) to give my son, when and for how long.
    5. When to call my GP or the surgeon (i.e. I know the signs of infection and other complications).
    6. How to contact my son's surgeon if necessary.
    7. About my son's follow-up appointment at the hospital.
    8. About my son's follow-up appointment when he is a teenager.

    Key points to remember about hypospadias repair

    • Hypospadias is an abnormality of the penis.
    • The opening of the urethra is not at the end of the penis. It is somewhere else along the penis.
    • Unless very mild, hypospadias is usually corrected by surgery.
    • There are risks such as wound breakdown, leaking urine, fistula, strictures and incomplete correction of the bend.
    • A positive outcome with a nearly normal appearing and functioning penis is likely if the operation is done by a qualified paediatric urologist.
    • The amount of time spent in hospital will depend on your son's recovery, and how comfortable you are caring at home for any catheters that your son may have.

    More information

    Please read these Kids Health Info factsheets: 


    Produced by the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Departments of Urology and Surgery. First published Sept 2005. Updated November 2010.

Kids Health Info app

The app will enable you to search and browse more than three hundred medical fact sheets and work offline.

This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.