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Undescended testicle repair

Alternative names

Orchidopexy; Inguinal orchidopexy; Orchiopexy; Repair of undescended testicle; Cryptorchidism repair


Undescended testicle repair is surgery to correct undescended testes (cryptorchism).

In normal fetal development, the testicles develop in the abdomen and descend into the scrotum during the last months before birth. In 3.4% of newborns, however, one or both testicles do not descend into the scrotum. About half of these cases will descend within the first year of life without medical attention, and this surgery is recommended for patients whose testicles do not descend on their own.


While the child is unconscious and pain-free (under general anesthesia), an incision is made in the groin, where most undescended testes are lodged. The spermatic cord is located and freed from surrounding tissues to maximize its length. A small incision is made in the scrotum and a pouch is created. The testicle is carefully pulled down into the scrotum. The testicle is stitched in place in the scrotum and the incisions are stitched closed.


Undescended testicles often descend into the scrotum by 1 year of age. It is unusual, however, for testicles to descend on their own after the age of 1 year. This surgery is recommended for infants older than 1 year whose testicles have not descended into the scrotum ( cryptorchidism ).

This condition is more common in premature babies. Most often, only one side is affected.

Undescended testicles can cause infertility and are more prone to developing malignant tumor s in later years.


Risks for any anesthesia are:
  • reactions to medications
  • problems breathing
Risks for any surgery are:
  • bleeding
  • infection

Expectations after surgery

Undescended testicle repair is successful in most cases. The long-term prognosis for hormone production and fertility is excellent. A small percentage (10%) of individuals will have fertility problems, however.

Men who have had undescended testicles should be examined monthly, throughout their lives, to detect any possible tumor development. Individuals with undescended testes have a 30- to 50-fold higher rate of testicular cancer than those with normal testicular development.


The surgery may be done on an outpatient basis. Bedrest is recommended for the first 2 to 3 days. Strenuous activity, including bicycling, should be avoided for at least 1 month to allow rehabilitation of the testis in its new position.

Update Date: 10/28/2002

David R. Knowles M.D., Department of Urology, New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia Campus, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT