What is orchidopexy?
Orchidopexy, or orchiopexy, is a surgical procedure which is performed in order to fix an undescended testicle into the scrotum.
Why is it done?
Undescended testicles generally move to the scrotum by the time your baby is 3 to 6 months old. If the testicles do not descend by this point, they will generally need to be surgically corrected. If orchidopexy is not performed, the chances of fertility problems or testicular cancer increases later in life.
What does it involve?
In cases where the testicle can be felt in the groin, a simple orchidopexy is done. First, a cut is made in the groin in order to locate the testicle. Then, a second incision is made, which repositions the testicle, moving it into the scrotum.
In cases where the testicle is positioned higher in the abdomen, laparoscopy may be carried out. Laparoscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery where a long tube with a light and camera attached is used to perform the procedure. Both types of surgery are performed under general anaesthetic.
After surgery, it’s normal for your child to feel unwell for a day or so, as the anaesthetic wears off. You can keep them distracted during this time to help them feel better, by doing activities such as reading together.
Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids and rests at home for a couple of days or more after the procedure. They should not return to school or nursery for about two days. Your child may be more comfortable if wearing more loose-fitting clothing, as it is normal for their groin area to be sore and tender after the surgery. Make sure they also do not ride a bicycle or use any similar type of toy in the weeks following the procedure, as this can provoke the testicles to move back up into the abdomen.