In male infants, the testicles develop in the abdomen and descend into the scrotum during the last months before birth. In 3.4% of newborns, one or both testicles do not descend into the scrotum. About half of these cases will descend within the first year of life without medical help. It is not common for testicles to descend on their own after the age of 1 year.
An orchiopexy is surgery done to secure the testes in the scrotum. This will correct undescended testes or torsion of the testicles. It will take 2-3 weeks for the groin and scrotal incisions to heal. Expect some swelling and bruising. The sutures will dissolve in about 2 weeks. If your child has a button sewn to the scrotum, this will need to be removed at your follow-up visit in 2 weeks.
- No strenuous activity for 2 weeks
- No bike ridng, tree climbing or anything else that requires straddling for 2 to 4 weeks.
- No swimming or hot tubs.
- No contact sports, wrestling, or rough games for 3 weeks.
- If your child was given a scrotal support, make sure he uses it as the doctor ordered.
- Keep the groin and scrotum clean and dry for 48 hours.
- Apply antibiotic ointment to the scrotum stitches 3 times a day for 1 week.
- Do not give your child a bath for 2 days after surgery. He can shower or rinse off sooner if stool gets on his groin or scrotum.
- There is a stitch in the base of the scrotum which will last for 90 days.
- The local pain medicine given to your child during surgery will wear off in 4 to 6 hours.
- Give your child the prescribed pain medicine as needed. Remember that narcotics can cause constipation so use carefully.
- Put cool packs on the scrotal area as needed to help with pain and swelling.
- You may start giving your child Children’s Tylenol® 3 days after surgery instead of the narcotic pain medicine.
Your child’s stomach may be upset after surgery. First, offer clear liquids such as ice chips, Popsicles®, 7-Up®, and Jell-O®. Next, try foods that are easy to digest like soda crackers or dry white toast. A regular diet may be given the next day. If your child has nausea or vomits, start again with clear liquids and slowly advance.
Follow-up Clinic Visit
Your child’s follow-up visit with the doctor should be in 2-3 weeks after surgery.
When to Call the Doctor
- Increased drainage or bleeding from the incisions.
- Wound gets more red or swollen, some is normal.
- Red streaks from the incisions.
- Foul smell or pus-like drainage.
- Trouble passing urine.
- No bowel movement for 2 days or constipation.
- Pain not controlled by pain medicine
- Chills or a fever over 101º F.
- Nausea or vomiting that doesn’t go away.
If you have any problems, please call your clinic or doctor.
Pediatric Urology Clinic, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm,
After hours, nights and weekends, the clinic number will be answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Urology Resident on call. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #6525.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 11/20/2012
Copyright © 11/20/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4354
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