Surgery for Undescended Testicles: Orchiopexy

  • What is orchiopexy?

    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:

    • Eating: your son may begin drinking and eating when he gets home.
    • Pain control: before surgery, your son will receive a local anesthesia along with the general anesthesia. This medicine will keep your child pain-free for four to six hours. After your son goes home, he may need acetaminophen (TYLENOL) to relieve the pain.
    • Activity: your son must avoid straddle toys (bikes, walkers and swings) for two weeks after surgery, but you should continue to use his car seat. You may give him a bath two days after surgery. Otherwise, he can return to normal activities as he feels up to it.
    • Appearance: the scrotum will look bruised after surgery, but these bruises will fade over three weeks. The incisions may feel lumpy after the surgery; this is the "healing ridge." It's normal, and the incision will become smooth over the next six months.
    • Follow-up: please bring your son in for a follow-up appointment two weeks after surgery.
  • When to call the doctor

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

    • Your child has any signs of infections:
      • Redness or drainage along the incision site
      • Fever greater than 101 degrees
    • Acetaminophen (TYLENOL) doesn't relieve your child's pain
    • The incision is bleeding
    • You have any questions or concerns

    Reviewed by: Surgical Advanced Practice Nurses
    Date: November 2008