Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery

A Guide to Your Child's Surgery

Our Surgery Guide will help you and your family prepare for your child's upcoming surgery, outlining what to expect from the first pre-op visit all the way through to her discharge.

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Undescended Testicles

What are undescended testicles?
About the operation
Caring for your child at home
When to call the doctor

What are undescended testicles?

A male child's testicles should come down into his scrotum after he is born. When they don't, they're called undescended testicles. An undescended testicle (or testicles) puts your child at risk for injury, infertility or in rare cases, cancer, as he gets older.

About the operation

An undescended testicle needs to be treated surgically — with a procedure called orchiopexy — before your child is 2 years old to increase his chance for fertility later in life.

After your son receives general anesthesia, the surgeon will make an incision in his groin area, and locate the undescended testicle, which is usually in the inguinal canal above the scrotum. The surgeon will then make a small incision in the scrotum, pull the testicle down, place it in a small pouch in the scrotum and attach it with stitches. The incision will be covered with a small strip of tape, then gauze and a clear bandage.

After your son recovers from the anesthesia and surgery, he may go home — usually about one and a half to two hours after surgery.

Caring for your child at home

Here's what you need to know after your son has undergone an orchiopexy:

When to call the doctor

Be sure to call your child's surgeon's office (at Children's Hospital, call 215-590-2730) if:

Reviewed by: Surgical Advanced Practice Nurses
Date: November 2008

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