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Expert Q&A

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Is 10 months too young to repair an undescended testicle?

Asked by Brunilda Figueroa, Great Neck, New York

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My 10-month-old baby boy is having surgery for an undescended testicle. Is he too young to put him through surgery or should I go ahead with it? Should I give him more time for the testicle to descend?

Expert Bio Picture

Living Well Expert Dr. Jennifer Shu Pediatrician,
Children's Medical Group

Expert answer

Having an undescended testicle occurs in up to 5 percent of term and 30 percent of premature newborn males and means that a boy's testicle has not moved from the abdomen, where it starts developing in utero, down into its ultimate destination in the scrotum.

It is unclear why testicles sometimes do not descend. Most of the time, however, the testicle will move into the correct position on its own by the time a baby is about 6 months old, and almost always by the first birthday. If the testicle has not descended, surgery is required to move and attach it within the scrotum.

Surgery is usually performed before or around 1 year of age because it is unlikely that the testicle will move after that, and there is a chance of problems if it is left alone. A testicle that remains in the abdominal cavity may be at risk for trauma, decreased fertility, torsion (twisting), a hernia, or cancer development.

I encourage you to talk to your doctors for the most accurate information about your situation and wish you and your son the best of luck.

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