Orchiopexy is a surgical procedure that is useful in shifting undescended testicles in the baby into the scrotum from the abdominal cavity.
Also known as ‘Orchidopexy’, this procedure is mostly performed on babies between the ages of 9-15 months old and is performed by an experienced pediatric specialist (urologist) or a pediatric surgeon. This procedure is rarely required in older children and more rare in adults.
An Orchiopexy is performed under local or general anesthesia in order to avoid pain and discomfort to the baby. The surgeon will then make one, or two, incisions (depending of the location of the testicle) in the abdomen, groin or the scrotum. This allows the surgeon to access the testicle and shift it to the scrotum in a normal position.
This procedure is nowadays performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic method. This type of surgical technique is especially advantageous in shifting an undescended testicle which is high in the inguinal canal or deep in the abdomen.
Mostly, one surgery is sufficient to correct the position of the undescended testicles however if the testicles are located in the abdomen the surgeon will require to perform two separate procedures around several months apart.
Recovery After Orchiopexy
Orchiopexy is usually done as an outpatient procedure and the baby can go home on the same day. In case the doctor detects any complications a short hospital stay in usually advised.
Physical activity like sports and games are to be avoided doe around 2 weeks post-surgery.
Need for Orchiopexy
Orchiopexy is required to shift an undescended testicle into its normal position in the scrotum.
This is useful to:
- Help prevent infertility and also reduce the risk of testicular cancer
- Detect testicular cancer and treat it
- Boost the child’s self-esteem
- Lower the risk of injury to the testicle
Possible Risks Associated With Orchiopexy
There are rare chances of certain risks arising due to the surgical procedure involved in an Orchiopexy, such as:
- Blood clots
- Vascular (blood vessel) damage
- Atrophy in testicle due to interrupted blood supply
- Testicle rescending (returning to abnormal position)
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