Orchidopexy (child)

Orchidopexy for a Palpable Testicle (child)

This webpage will give you information about an orchidopexy. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

What is an orchidopexy?

An orchidopexy is an operation to bring a testicle down into the scrotum. The testicles develop in your child’s abdomen and usually move down into the scrotum by 35 weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes a testicle does not come down normally (see figure 1).

 

Orchidopexy for a Palpable Testicle

What are the benefits of surgery?

The operation should prevent your child from having serious complications. Your child’s fertility should improve and he will find it easier to examine his testicles to check for any problems.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

If a testicle has not reached the scrotum by the age of six months, it is unlikely to do so without surgery.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes between three-quarters of an hour and an hour. 

Your surgeon will perform the operation through a cut in the groin and a small cut in the scrotum. They will free up the testicle and bring it down into the scrotum. 

If your surgeon finds a small testicle that is unlikely to function, they will usually remove it.

What complications can happen?

1 General complications

  • Pain
  • Infection in the surgical site (wound)
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring

2 Specific complications of this operation

  • Developing a lump under the wound
  • Shrinking of the testicle
  • Prevention of sperm passing to the penis
  • The testicle may return to its original position
  • Reduction in fertility of a testicle that is brought down

How soon will my child recover?

Your child should be able to go home the same day.

It is usual for children to return to school after a week.

Your child should not play sports activities or ride a bicycle for six weeks.

Summary

An orchidopexy is an operation to bring a testicle down into the scrotum. If left untreated, serious complications can happen.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Shailinder Singh DM FRCS (Paed. Surg.) and Mr Gregor Knepil FRCS (Ed) 

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © 2011 Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com 

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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