July 13, 2022
“It is important that parents strictly comply with the newborn’s pediatric check-up calendar, especially during the first months of life. Although it is true that cryptorchidism is not a serious condition, if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner, it can cause future complications such as infertility or testicular cancer, to name a few”, says Dr. Waldo Berrocal, pediatric surgeon at our clinic.
What is cryptorchidism?
Sometimes babies are born with an undescended testicle. This condition is called cryptorchidism. This congenital pathology can occur in one or both testicles and has no defined cause.
When does cryptorchidism may occur?
As already mentioned, there is no defined cause that causes the lack of descent of the testicle. However, it usually occurs more frequently in premature boys where testicular descent has not yet been completed. It can also occur after inguinal hernia surgery, associated with the healing process, with the testicle remaining in the inguinal canal.
What are its symptoms?
Cryptorchidism does not present symptoms, so the evaluation of the patient in pediatric controls is key to detect this alteration. Children with this pathology should be referred to the pediatric surgeon for their corresponding management and treatment.
How is it treated?
Once the definitive diagnosis is made, the treatment of cryptorchidism is surgical. The goal is to lower the testicle into its scrotal sac through an incision or cut in the groin area. The procedure is outpatient; that is, the patient undergoes surgery, then goes to the recovery room, wakes up from anesthesia and is discharged, not requiring hospitalization. The optimal age for surgical treatment is between 12 and 18 months.
What kind of complications may occur?
Complications are not very frequent after surgical treatment. However, in isolated cases, the testicle may return to be above the scrotal sac or the surgical wound may become infected, avoiding the latter with proper care and hygiene.
Dr. Waldo Berrocal
Pediatric surgeon at Clínica Ricardo Palma