Orchidopexy for a palpable testicle (child)

What is an orchidopexy?

An orchidopexy is an operation to bring a testicle down into the scrotum. The testicles develop in your child’s abdomen and usually move down into the scrotum by 35 weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes a testicle does not come down normally (see figure 1).

Orchidopexy for a palpable testicle child 

What are the benefits of orchidopexy surgery?

The operation should prevent your child from having serious complications. Your child’s fertility should improve and they will find it easier to examine their testicles to check for any problems.  

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

If a testicle has not reached the scrotum by the age of six months, it is unlikely to do so without surgery.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and usually takes between three-quarters of an hour and an hour.

Your surgeon will perform the operation through a cut in the groin and a small cut in the scrotum.

They will free up the testicle and bring it down into the scrotum.

If your surgeon finds a small testicle that is unlikely to function, they will usually remove it.

What complications can happen?

1. General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Infection in the surgical wound
  • Bleeding
  • Unsightly scarring

2. Specific complications of this operation

  • Developing a lump under the wound
  • Shrinking of the testicle
  • Prevention of sperm passing to the penis
  • The testicle may return to its original position
  • Reduction in fertility of a testicle that is brought down

How soon will my child recover?

Your child should be able to go home the same day.

It is usual for children to return to school after a week.

Your child should avoid sports activities and riding a bicycle for six weeks.


An orchidopexy is an operation to bring a testicle down into the scrotum. If left untreated, serious complications can happen.

Paying for the operation

Orchidopexy for a palpable testicle costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.


Author: Mr Jonathan Sutcliffe FRCS, Mr Shailinder Singh FRCS (Paed. Surg.) and Mr Gregor Knepil FRCS (Ed)Illustrations: Hannah Ravenscroft RM

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