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Orchiopexy for Undescended Testicle

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your child's surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give medicine or liquids.
  • Medicine may be given to help your child relax.
  • General anesthesia will keep your child asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your child's IV. He may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down his throat. The tube may cause your child to have a sore throat when he wakes up.

During your child's surgery:

  • Your child may be given anesthesia medicine to make him drowsy or fall asleep. Your child's surgeon 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. The surgeon 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. He or she may also make an incision at the upper part of your child's scrotum.
  • Your child's surgeon will move tissues aside while they find the undescended testicle. He or she 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. The surgeon will widen the inguinal canal and prepare a pouch in the scrotum. He or she 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.
  • Stitches will be used 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 be taken to a recovery room until he is fully awake. Healthcare providers will watch him closely for any problems. When healthcare providers 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. The bandages that cover his stitches will keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. A healthcare provider may remove the bandages soon after your child's surgery to check his abdominal area.

  • Let your child rest and sleep as much as he wants.
  • Ice may be applied to your child's incisions to decrease his pain and swelling. Your child's scrotum may swell and be painful for several days after his surgery. He may be bruised at his incisions or in his scrotum.
  • Medicines may be given to prevent or treat pain or a bacterial infection.

RISKS:

Your child may bleed more than usual during surgery or get an infection later. 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 father children later in life.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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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.

Further information

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