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2-year old with undecended testicles

Posted by Kelley on June 11, 1999 at 22:18:08
My son's doctor informed us today at his 2 year check-up that both of his testicles are undecended.  He made an appointment for us with a pediatric urologist in July and said the situation was completely correctable.  He never told me, however, if he actually felt them there or not.  I just assumed that he did, but I have become more worried after reading some articles on the internet.  My question is, if he has the capability for an erection, should that ease my fears that he possibly doesn't have any testicles?
Thanks for your help.

Posted by HFHS M.D.-AK on June 14, 1999 at 14:03:35
Dear Kelley,
The fact that your son has erections means that he has testicles.  However the major concern of undescended testicles (UDT) is the risk of infertility and increased risks of cancer.  Cryptorchidism is one of the most common disorders in humans.  In some cases, birth occurs before the descent of the testis and is the reason why undescended testicles are so common in premature infants.  Some physicians state that a testicles should have a full year to descend yet most testes that descend during the first year of life actually do so within the first three months.  If after a year, the testicles has not descended, it should be surgically corrected.
The best time for patients to have surgery for an undescended testis is between the age of 8 months and two years.  This will give the patient a normal risk of anesthesia complications, yet provides the best chance that the testicle will be able to function normally for fertility.  Its hard to say if after two years is too late, but I would tell you that the longer you wait, the less chance that the undescended testis has for the function of fertility.
Before your get all worried, your son needs to be evaluated by a pediatric urologist to determine are the testicles truly undescended, are they palpable or non-palpable, or does he simple have  retractile testicles.  Next, your son if found to have UDT, he is in the correct age range for surgery to bring the testicles down.  You could speak to your pediatric urologist for further details and recommendations.
This information is provided for general medical educational purposes only.  Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options pertaining to your specific medical condition.  More individualized care is available at the Henry Ford Hospital and its satellites (1 800 653-6568).
*keyword:Undescended testis

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