Kids Health Info


  • Pronounciation:
    Cryptorchidism, pron. kript-ork-id-iz-im
    Orchidopexy, pron. ork-id-oh-peck-see

    An "orchidopexy" is an operation to place undescended testes (testicles) in the scrotum. Undescended testes occur when one or both or the testes do not move down into the scrotum. See the Kids Health Info factsheet:  Undescended testes.


    The testes may come down by themselves in the first three months following birth. If they do not, an operation called an orchidopexy is needed.  The best age for this surgery to occur is controversial and you should discuss this with your son's specialist. Many experts recommend the operation take place when the boy is aged between six to 12 months.

    Reasons to have surgery

    Orchidopexy surgery is usually needed if the testes do not come down by themselves by the time a baby is six months of age.  If the testes remain undescended there is risk of ongoing health issues, including:

    • Trauma such as twisting (torsion).
    • Hernia is when a lump of bowel comes through the same hole as the testis.
    • Lower fertility because the body temperature in the abdomen is higher than in the scrotum and this can affect the sperm production in the testes.
    • Risk of testicular cancer.
    • Poor self esteem because of the cosmetic problem.

    The operation

    An orchidopexy is performed to bring the testis (testicle) down into its normal location in the scrotum. A small cut is made in the groin and the testis is freed up before placing it in a pouch in the scrotum through a second cut which is then stitched up. This operation is usually a day procedure and your son should be able to go home on the same day. 


    • Occasionally the testis does not reach the scrotum after the first operation and the procedure needs to be done again.
    • If the testis is very high in the abdomen or the blood supply to the testis is poor, it may shrink and disappear. This is very rare.

    Care at home after the operation

    • Make sure your son has enough pain relief - Panadol is usually enough.
    • Make sure your son continues to eat and drink normally.
    • If your son develops a temperature over 38.5ºC, contact his surgeon or the hospital.
    • Your son's doctor or nurse will give you instructions on how to care for his wound.
    • Watch for signs of infection such as a high temperature and/or a red, hot or oozing area around the wound.
    • Limit your son's activity for the first few days after surgery - the surgeon will advise you of this.
    • Please call your local doctor or your son's surgeon if you have any concerns.

    When to come back

    • An appointment will be made for your son to see his surgeon after the operation.
    • At the follow-up appointment, the surgeon will tell you how often you may need to bring your son in for further checks. Regular checks may be needed to make sure the testicle remains in the scrotum.
    • After an orchidopexy, most surgeons will see your son six to 12 months after the operation and again in adolescence to discuss issues of adulthood.
    • Your son will need to learn how to do regular testicular self-examination when he becomes a teenager.

    Key points to remember

    • There may be several reasons why the testes do not move down into the scrotum. Usually the cause is unknown.
    • An operation called an orchidopexy is done if the testes do not come down by themselves after six months of age. This is done to reduce ongoing health issues.
    • This operation is a day procedure and your son will usually go home the same day.

    More information


    Produced by the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Departments of Urology and Surgery. Many thanks to the parents who helped with this factsheet. First published Sept 2005. Updated November 2010.

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This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.