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Orchidopexy for a palpable testicle (child)

3-minute read

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

You can also download and print a PDF version of this factsheet, with space for your own questions or notes.

What is an orchidopexy?

An orchidopexy is an operation to bring a testicle down into the scrotum. The testicles develop in a baby boy's abdomen when he is in the womb. The testicles usually move down into the scrotum by 35 weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes a testicle does not come down normally.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Surgery should prevent your child from having serious complications. Your child’s fertility should improve, and he will find it easier when he is an adult to examine his testicles to check for any problems.

Orchidopexy for a palpable testicle (child).
Orchidopexy for a palpable testicle (child).

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

If a testicle has not reached the scrotum by the age of 6 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 45 minutes to an hour.

Your surgeon will usually perform the operation through a cut on the groin and a small cut on 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?

General complications of any operation

  • pain
  • infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • bleeding
  • unsightly scarring

Specific complications of this operation

  • developing a collection of blood or fluid
  • 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 about a week.

Your child should not play sports or ride a bicycle for 6 weeks.

Summary

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

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The operation and treatment information on this page is published under license by Healthdirect Australia from EIDO Healthcare Australia and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

For more on how this information was prepared, click here.

Last reviewed: September 2018

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