Undescended Testicles (Cryptorchidism)

  1. General information
    1. Unilateral or bilateral absence of testes in scrotal sac
    2. Testes normally descend at 8 months of gestation, will therefore be absent in premature infants
    3. Incidence increased in children having genetically transmitted diseases
    4. Unilateral cryptorchidism most common
    5. 75% will descend spontaneously by age 1 year
  2. Medical management
    1. Whether or not to treat is still controversial; if testes remain in abdomen, damage to the testes (sterility) is possible because of increased body temperature.
    2. If not descended by age 8 or 9, chorionic gonadotropin can be given.
    3. Orchipexy: surgical procedure to retrieve and secure testes placement; performed between ages 1-3 years.
  3. Assessment findings: unable to palpate testes in scrotal sac (when palpating testes be careful not to elicit cremasteric reflex, which pulls testes higher in pelvic cavity)
  4. Nursing interventions
    1. Advise parents of absence of testes and provide information about treatment options.
    2. Support parents if surgery is to be performed.
    3. Post-op, avoid disturbing the tension mechanism (will be in place for about 1 week).
    4. Avoid contamination of incision

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