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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

My son has a testicle that hasn`t dropped

10/25/2004

Question:

Hi, I have a 15 month old son that has a testical on the left that hasn`t dropped and is significantly smaller than his right one that currently has a hydroseal that has grown quite a bit since we last visited a specialist. We just went to a Urologist on Monday the 18th of October and was informed that the chance of saving it was about nill. Just wanted to know of any other instances of this happening to a young child and if you could explain why this might be happeng. What could have been done to possibly prevent it if anything? Also, is surgery to remove it is the best choice or should we keep it and see what happens or is there more of a chance of complications? I`m writing this because the office I went to isn`t really answering any of my questions or addressing any of my concerns about this matter. I am an extremely worried mother trying to do what`s best for my little angel. Hope to get an answer ASAP.

Answer:

Undescended testicles are relatively common. The main reasons to worry about them is that men who had undescended testes have a slightly higher chance of developing testicular cancer and have a slightly higher risk of having difficulty having children. Usually, if a testicle has not dropped by one year of life, it will never do so and there is little benefit to waiting to see if it will drop. Furthermore, by three years of age there may be permanent damage to the testis, so it is best to have something done by then. The physical examination can be misleading, and thus all kids with undescended testes need surgery. If a testis is truly small, it probably is best to remove it.

There is nothing that could have been done to prevent this. Most men, who have had one undescended testis only, live perfectly normal lives.

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Response by:

Rama   Jayanthi, MD Rama Jayanthi, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University