Orchiopexy For Undescended Testicle(s)

What you should know

Orchiopexy is surgery to move one or both of your child's undescended testicles from his lower abdomen into his scrotum.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

Risks

  • Your child may bleed more than usual during surgery or get an infection later. His scrotum may swell and be painful for several days after his surgery. He may be bruised at his incisions or in his scrotum. His testicle may move back up again later and he may need another surgery. Blood vessels that carry blood to the testicle may be cut or damaged during surgery. This can cause your child's testicle to shrink. This could affect his ability to have children later in life.

  • Without surgery, he may not be able to have children later in life. His is also at an increased risk for testicular torsion if his testicles are not in his scrotum. Testicular torsion is a condition in which the testicle and spermatic cord get twisted. This pinches blood vessels and nerves, which causes pain and may damage the testicle. He may also have an increased risk of testicular cancer.

Getting Ready

The week before your child's surgery:

  • Your child may need blood or urine tests. He may also need an ultrasound, CT, or MRI. Ask your child's caregiver for more information about these tests. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.

  • Write down the date, time, and location of your child's surgery.

The night before your child's surgery:

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your child's surgery:

  • Ask your child's caregiver before you give your child any medicine on the day of his surgery. Bring all the medicines your child is taking, including the pill bottles, to the hospital.

  • An anesthesiologist may talk to you before your child's surgery. He may give your child medicine to make him sleepy before the surgery.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal paper (consent form). It gives your child's caregiver permission to do the surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen and your choices for treatment. Be sure all your questions have been answered before you sign this form.

Treatment

What will happen:

  • Your child may be given anesthesia medicine to make him drowsy or fall asleep. Caregivers may use a laparoscope to see the undescended testicle and do the surgery. A laparoscope is a long thin tool with a light and video camera at the end. Caregivers will make an incision on your child's groin near the inguinal canal. This is the space where the testicles would normally descend from the abdomen to the scrotum. They may also make an incision at the upper part of your child's scrotum.

  • Caregivers will move tissues aside while they find the undescended testicle. Caregivers will cut any tissues attached to the testicle and spermatic cord to let them move freely. The spermatic cord supports the testicle and connects it to the other organs in the reproductive system. Caregivers will widen the inguinal canal and prepare a pouch in the scrotum. Caregivers will pull the testicle through the canal and put it in the pouch. If the spermatic cord is too short, another surgery may be needed to move the testicle farther down. Caregivers may use stitches to hold the testicle in place so that it will not get twisted. The incisions will be closed with stitches or surgical tape and covered with bandages.

After your child's surgery:

Your child may stay in a recovery room until he is fully awake. Caregivers will watch your child closely for any problems. When caregivers see that your child is okay, he will leave the recovery room. Depending on his condition and type of surgery, he may be taken to his hospital room or allowed to go home. A caregiver may remove the bandages soon after your child's surgery to check his wounds.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your child's appointment on time.

  • Your child is irritable or fussy.

  • You have questions or concerns about your child's surgery.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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