by Deanna M. Neff, MPH
Orchiopexy is a surgery to lower the testicles into the scrotum. Testicles should move down from the belly into the scrotum before birth. Some boys are born with 1 or both testicles still inside the belly or groin. This is called undescended testicles.
Reasons for Procedure
Doing this procedure may help:
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your child's doctor will review possible problems such as:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your child’s doctor may do:
Talk to the doctor about your child’s medicines. Your child may need to stop them up to 1 week before the procedure.
Bring special toys, books, and other comforts for your child.
Your child will need to stop eating the night before:
General anesthesia will block pain and keep your child asleep.
Description of the Procedure
Small keyhole incisions will be made in 1 or both sides of the groin and in the belly. Long, thin tools will be passed through the keyholes. They will allow the doctor to see inside the belly to find and check the testicle.
The testicle is then pulled into a pouch made in the scrotum. Stitches will hold the testicle in place for life. Stitches that dissolve are used on the incisions.
In some cases, a small button is placed on the outside of the scrotum. The button holds the testicle down until the area heals. The doctor removes the button by cutting the stitches.
How Long Will It Take?
About 1 hour per testicle. In most cases, your child can go home on the same day. If they have problems, they may need to stay longer.
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia keeps your child pain free during the procedure. Pain can be eased with medicines after the procedure.
At the Care Center
The healthcare staff will monitor your child as they wake up.
During your child's stay, the healthcare staff will also take steps to lower the chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your child's chance of infection such as:
To help your child get healthier faster:
Call Your Child’s Doctor
Call your child’s doctor if any of these occur:
If you think your child has an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
Caring for Kids—Canadian Pediatric Society
Cryptorchidism. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116422/Cryptorchidism . Updated October 2, 2017. Accessed June 14, 2018.
Elyas R, Guerra LA, Pike J, et al. Is staging beneficial for Fowler-Stephens orchiopexy? A systematic review. J Urol. 2010;183(5):2012-2018.
Orchiopexy. Encyclopedia of Surgery website. Available at:
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Accessed June 14, 2018.
Orchiopexy discharge instructions. Children’s Minnesota website. Available at: https://www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials/childrensmn/article/15950/orchiopexy-discharge-instructions/. Updated August 2017. Accessed June 14, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 6/14/2018
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