What is Undescended Testis?

Testicles develop in abdomen and descend down in to scrotum before birth. If the testicle is unable to descend completely in to scrotum, the condition is called Undescended Testis. It may be inside the abdomen or in the groin. It is commonly seen on one side, but it may be on both the sides.

How common is Undescended Testis?

It is a common condition seen in up to 3% of boys. Premature boys have a higher incidence of this condition.

What are the symptoms of Undescended Testis?

A bulge in the groin or empty scrotum on one side may suggest an undescended testicle.

What are the tests to confirm the condition?

Clinical examination by your doctor confirms the diagnosis. However, sometimes ultrasonography is required. If the testis is in the abdomen, no tests will be able to confirm the presence and location of the testis in abdomen with 100% accuracy. Laparoscopy will be the final answer.

What are the risks if the condition is left untreated?

The possible risks are, damage to the testis, torsion of the testis (a surgical emergency) and development of tumor in abdominal testis.

What is the treatment of Undescended testis?

The testis should be brought down in scrotum by Surgery called Orchiopexy. When the testis is inside abdominal cavity a laparoscopic surgery is required. A two stage laparoscopic approach may be required in select cases.

At what age surgery should be done?

The recommended age is before one year. The surgery should preferably be done between 9 months and one year of age. However, if it is associated with inguinal hernia, it should be done as soon as possible regardless of the age. If the condition is diagnosed after one year, surgery should be done as soon as possible.

What is a vanishing testis?

When a normally developed testis shrinks to a nonfunctional remnant like tissue during fetal life, it is called a vanishing testis.

What is the outcome after surgery?

If the surgery is done before one year of age, the outcome is excellent. The catch up growth and function of the undescended testis will be nearly identical to its counterpart.