An undescended testis is more common in boys who are born less 38 weeks. Although in the majority of cases the testis descends by the age of 6 months and some we should wait until 1 year age and after that boys will need an operation. This procedure is called an orchidopexy. This operation brings the testis down from the abdomen into the scrotum. There is an increased risk of infertility and cancer if still in the abdomen.
What is an undescended testis?
Testis begin their development in the abdomen. Whilst your baby is growing and developing the testes gradually travel down into the testes' sac. This usually happens towards the end of your pregnancy. At birth, most boys have two testes in the scrotum. However, in some babies, one or both of the testes cannot be felt in the scrotum. The testis will then be undescended. This is also known as cryptorchidism. The testis is usually stuck in the inguinal canal or intra abdomen
Usually only one of the testes is affected or sometimes both.
An undescended testis is more common in premature babies, affecting around 3 in 10 premature babies.
How is an undescended testis diagnosed?
By examination after baby delivered, or may be after six- or eight-week baby check. This is found by examining your baby's testicular sac gently to feel for the presence or absence of the testicles.
Sometimes, the testis may have descended to the scrotum but are not always able to be felt there. This is because the testes can sometimes rise back into the body, especially when your baby is cold. That called retractile testis does not have undescended testes and does not need any treatment.
Why should be treated undescended testis?
Because testis will not be mature in the abdomen. The amount of sperm and fertility levels are lower in men who have had an undescended testis, especially if it was not treated early in childhood. This is because the testes need to be less degree of temperature than the rest of the body in order to produce sperm.
Treatment for an undescended testis
If the child is under 6 -12 months old when an undescended testicle (testis) is diagnosed then some time is usually descend. The majority will descend on their own before 1 year and do not need treatment. However, babies over the age of 12 months, with an undescended testis, are usually seen by a specialist for treatment.
An undescended testis is best treated in early childhood, we advise before 12 month. Most can be felt in the inguinal canal. They are usually treated by a short operation called an orchidopexy. This is an operation to bring the testis down from the abdomen or inguinal canal to its usual place in the scrotum. It is a short operation as day case which is done under a general anesthetic and we discharge the boy in the same day to home.
Sometime if both testis are intra abdomen need laparoscopy to treat this case.