At the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, our experienced team provides expert care and treatment for children with undescended or retractile testicles.
Undescended testicles are when one or both of a baby's testicles (also called testis) have not moved down into their proper place in the scrotum.
When the testicles do not move down, the baby is born with one or both testis still in the abdomen.
Undescended testicles move down on their own in about 50% of full-term newborn boys by the time they are six months old. If the testicles do not move down on their own, your child will need surgery.
Retractile testicles are testes that sometimes move between the scrotum and the groin. This movement is caused by a hyperactive muscle called the cremaster muscle. This condition is common, affecting about 80% of boys between ages one and 11.
Retractile testicles are functionally normal. They can often be seen in a warm bath or shower or when your child is asleep.
Orchiopexy: Undescended Testical Surgery
When surgery is needed, our renowned pediatric urologist performs a procedure called an orchiopexy (or orchidopexy) to bring one or both of the testicles down into the scrotum.
Orchiopexy can be done in one or two stages using open or laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgical techniques, depending on the location of the testicles.
Surgery is done under general anesthesia. This will make your child’s whole body go to sleep, and he will not feel any pain or have any memory of it.
Surgery will take about one hour. After your child recovers from general anesthesia, he can go home the same day.
Your child will have a small incision (cut) closed with dissolvable sutures (stitches that dissolve and fall out on their own over time) or surgery glue (Dermabond).
The sutures take four to six weeks to dissolve. The surgery glue will fall off on its own.
There may be a small amount of bloody drainage from the wound and bruising on the scrotal area.
Your child will have his first appointment one month after surgery and additional follow-up as needed.
If your child is school age, he can most likely go back to school within two to three days of surgery — possibly even the day after surgery if he feels well.
Your child cannot swim or take a tub bath for one week after surgery.Your child also cannot take part in contact sports, biking, straddling toys, or gym class until after the follow-up appointment.