Undescended Testes

Alternative names: Cryptorchidism repair; inguinal orchidopexy; orchiopexy; repair of undescended testicle; orchidopexy

Definition: Surgery to correct undescended testes (cryptorchism). In normal fetal development, the testicles develop in the abdomen and descend into the scrotum during the last months before birth. In a small percentage (0.04%) of newborns, one or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum.

Description: While the child is deep asleep and pain free (using general anesthesia), an incision is made in the groin, where most undescended testes are lodged. The spermatic cord is located and freed from surrounding tissues to maximize its length. A small incision is made in the scrotum and a pouch is created. The testicle is located and carefully pulled down into the scrotum. The testicle is stitched in place in the scrotum (orchidopexy) and the incisions are stitched closed. When the testicle is very high, a combined approach using Laparoscopy may allow improved mobilization.

Indications: #1 Undescended testicles(cryptorchidism) are seen more often in premature babies. #2 Orchidopexy is recommended for infants over 1 year of age whose testicles have not descended into the scrotum. Most often, only one side is affected.

It is not unusual for undescended testicles to descend into the scrotum by one year of age; testicles rarely descend after the age of one year. Undescended testicles which remain in the abdomen for many years can cause infertility or malignant tumor in later years. Hormonal therapy to encourage descent has been successful in some patients.

Expectations after surgery: Orchidopexy is successful in most cases. The long-term prognosis for hormone production and fertility is excellent.

Convalescence: The surgery may be done on an outpatient basis. Bed rest is recommended for the first 2 to 3 days. Strenuous activity, including bicycling, should be avoided for at least 1 month to allow rehabilitation of the testis in its new position.

As with any procedure we perform, your child's safety and well-being our #1 priority.  As always, feel free to contact us with any question that you have.  We would be happy to answer it for you.