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Orchidopexy for a palpable testicle (child)

4-minute read

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, particularly if both testicles need to be brought down, 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).
Both testicles usually move down into the scrotum.

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. There is no other way of bringing the testicle down into the scrotum.

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.

Your surgeon 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 can I do to prepare my child for the operation?

Your child should try to maintain a healthy weight. He will have a higher risk of developing complications if he is overweight.

What complications can happen?

Some complications can be serious and can even cause death.

General complications of any operation

  • bleeding
  • infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • allergic reaction to the equipment, materials or medication

Specific complications of this operation

  • developing a collection of blood or fluid under the wound
  • shrinking of the testicle
  • the testicle may return to its original position
  • prevention of sperm passing to the penis
  • reduction in fertility of a testicle that is brought down

Consequences of this procedure

  • pain
  • unsightly scarring of the skin

How soon will my child recover?

He should be able to go home the same day.

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

Most children make a full recovery and can return to normal activities.


An orchidopexy is an operation to bring a testicle down into the scrotum.


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Last reviewed: September 2023

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