Diagnosis of Undescended Testicle
The diagnostic procedure of cryptorchidism includes physical investigation followed by lab tests and invasive surgery. Let’s take a closer look at the diagnostic process:
Based on the symptoms explained to the doctor, he/she will undertake a thorough physical investigation of the newborn. The underdevelopment may also come to the notice of the child specialist during the regular paediatric visits.
Treatment is essential when either or both the testicles are in the groin, and cannot be brought down to the scrotum. To increase the chances of effective treatment for the medical condition, it should be ideally treated within a maximum of 1 year.
Imaging tests like CT and MRI scans are likely to be recommended to evaluate the exact location of the undescended testis. An ultrasound test may also be advised to identify the flow of blood in the blood vessels of the relevant locations.
The position of the undescended testis can also be identified and/or confirmed through diagnostic laparoscopy.
For this procedure, some small incisions are made around the groin and a video camera is inserted through one of them. This helps in taking a close look at the area and identifying the exact location of the undescended testicle(s).
The presence of undescended tesicle becomes apparent between the first 6 months in a newborn. If left untreated, it causes damage to the testicular cells, which are responsible for producing sperm in later life.
Hence, doctors usually recommend that this disorder be treated within a maximum of 2 years. This disorder can be treated through a surgical procedure called orchiopexy.
What happens during this surgery?
- The undescended testicle surgery involves bringing down the testicle(s) from the abdomen or scrotum to its expected location through the abdominal opening.
- The testicle(s) is then stitched in its place.
- It is conducted under general anaesthesia and spans about 45 minutes. At times, two surgeries may have to be conducted in more complicated cases with a gap of 6 months.
- In some cases, hormone injections may be administered before the undescended testicle surgery to stimulate the testicle(s) to produce increased quantities of testosterone. This may ease the process of bringing down the testicle(s).