Hypospadias is a relatively common birth defect found in boys whereby the urinary tract opening is not at the tip of the penis. Hypospadias occurs in about 1:200-300 male births. Associated with this anomaly can be a bend in the penis called chordee. There is a family association with hypospadias such that in a family with hypospadias there is a 25% chance of finding another family member with hypospadias.
Associated with hypospadias is a foreskin that is only "half" present due to the absence of the lower portion. Children with hypospadias should not be routinely circumcised at birth until they have been evaluated by a pediatric urologist. Different degrees of hypospadias exist -- some quite minor and others more severe. The type of hypospadias is named according to the anatomic location of the defect, but one must always determine whether or not there is associated chordee.
On occasion a child may have chordee, or abnormal bend of the penis upon erection, without apparent hypospadias. Like hypospadias, there is a spectrum in the severity and, therefore, repair may be simple or complex.