Children's Hospital Colorado

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What is orchiopexy?

Orchiopexy is a surgical procedure used to treat an undescended testicle.

During fetal development, the testicles typically descend from the abdomen into the scrotum. When a testicle does not move downward, it is called an undescended testicle. Specialists from pediatric urology or pediatric surgery typically perform orchiopexy if the testicle has not descended after your child reaches 6 months of age.

The orchiopexy procedure aims to place the testicle in the scrotum. Being located in the scrotum helps reduce the temperature of the testicle, which in turn helps with sperm production later in life. Ensuring the testicle is in the scrotum also lowers the risk of testicular cancer.

What to expect during an orchiopexy surgery?

If the surgeon can feel the testicle during a physical examination, it means it is closer to the surface of the skin and the surgeon can usually perform the orchiopexy as an open procedure, which (through incisions in the scrotum and sometimes the groin). After making the incision(s), the surgeon locates the testicle in the abdomen and carefully moves it down into the scrotum.

If the testicle cannot be felt, your child’s surgeon places a small camera through an incision and into the abdomen to find the testicle, then moves the testicle from the abdomen into the scrotum. Occasionally, the testicle is so far from the scrotum, it cannot be brought down in one procedure and a second procedure is necessary.

Our pediatric anesthesiologists administer general anesthesia and local anesthesia to reduce pain and discomfort. The procedure usually takes about one hour and patients normally go home the same day.

Telling children, when appropriate, about the trip to the hospital and what the procedure is for and how long they will feel uncomfortable is important. We will always explain the procedure and provide information in a way that families and children can easily understand. In addition, we have child health experts who can help families and children prepare for the procedure.

What to expect during orchiopexy recovery?

Your child will most likely experience some discomfort after the procedure. Discomfort can normally be controlled with simple pain relievers like Tylenol and Motrin. Many children also have swelling and bruising in the scrotum, which normally lasts about two weeks.

Most children return home the same day and start eating and drinking normally right after the procedure. They can usually resume daily activities about two weeks after their procedure.

Why choose us for orchiopexy

At Children’s Colorado, our surgeons perform orchiopexy every week. Our success rate is much higher than the national average, and the number of times we need to perform a second operation for this procedure is far lower than the national average.

Our experts are all trained to treat children. We know how to talk to kids and listen to them in a way that helps reduce the anxiety of surgery, produces better outcomes and creates an overall better experience.

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