Scrotal Approach to Both Palpable and Impalpable Undescended Testes: Should It Become Our First Choice?

Piet R. H. Callewaert, Mohammad S. Rahnama'i*, Bart T. Biallosterski, Philip E. V. A. Van Kerrebroeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES To determine the advantages of scrotal incision in the treatment of undescended testis. Undescended testis is a common pediatric condition and is conventionally managed surgically by orchidopexy. A single scrotal incision orchidopexy has become accepted as a valid approach for patients with palpable undescended testicles. Because this approach also allows easy detection of atrophic testes or testicular remnants, it recently has also emerged as an alternative initial surgical approach to impalpable undescended testicles. METHODS All orchidopexies performed between 2004 and 2008 at our university hospital were prospectively included in this study. A total of 194 scrotal orchidopexies were performed in 154 patients (mean age, 71 months; range, 4-229 months). In all cases a scrotal approach was chosen irrespective of the initial position or presence of an open processus vaginalis. Testicular position was examined at follow-up after a mean period of 10 months (3-22 months). RESULTS Overall, 36 of the 46 impalpable testicles (78%) could be diagnosed and treated accordingly, using only a scrotal incision. Conversion to laparoscopy was needed in 4 cases. A limited number of postoperative complications were seen. In all cases, the testes were palpable and remained in the scrotum on follow-up. CONCLUSIONS Initial single scrotal incision can be recommended for orchidopexy, even in the more difficult cases of impalpable undescended testes. Advantages seem to include shorter operative time, a cosmetically appealing single incision, and possibly less pain. The scrotal incision technique significantly reduces the need for laparoscopy in impalpable testes. Surprisingly, it even allows successful orchidopexy of abdominal testes, provided an open processus is present. UROLOGY 76: 73-77, 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-76
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

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