Undescended Testis

An undescended testicle, also known as cryptorchidism, is when a testicle hasn’t moved to its proper position in the bag of skin under the penis known as the scrotum. This happens before birth, and when it happens, it’s usually on testicle that hasn't moved, and in some cases, it may happen that both the testicles become undescended.

Why are undescended testicles problematic?

In some cases, the undescended testicle or testicles move back into their proper position on their own within the first few months after the baby is born. If your son’s testicles don't correct themselves, then surgery is required to relocate the testicle or testicles into the scrotum. This may cause the body temperature to rise high enough to cause a low sperm count or poor sperm quality, may increase the risk of testicular torsion where the sperm cords become twisted and if the undescended testicle is located in the groin, it will cause pressure from the pubic bone which may then damage may damage it.

What symptoms can be expected from an undescended testicle?

Babies that are affected by undescended testicle, either on or both his testicles will appear to be missing or cannot be felt in the scrotum. If both the testicles are undescended, then the scrotum may look abnormally flat or small, whereas when one testicle is undescended, then scrotum will look unbalanced.

How are undescended testicles treated?

If the testicles or testicle has not descended on its own when the baby is six months old, then he should be examined by a paediatric urologist so that the condition is confirmed and will be treated. Dr Mashava may recommend a surgical procedure to reposition the testicle or testicles into the scrotum. The surgical treatment is called an orchiopexy. An orchiopexy is a procedure done as an outpatient and is done to bring back the testicle or testicle back down into the scrotum.


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