Undescended Testis

Undescended testis (testes) occurs in 2.7% to 5.9% of full-term male infants, decreasing to 1.2% to 1.8% by age 1 year (Pillai and Bassner, 1998); the incidence is higher in premature infants. An undescended testis must be differentiated from a retractile testis, which may occur as the cremasteric reflex is developed. As opposed to an undescended testis, a retractile testis can be manually coaxed into the scrotum. In general, the patient with truly undescended testes needs urology evaluation. Failure to respond to human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is an indication for orchiopexy, especially if the testes have not descended by the first birthday. This should be accomplished before the child is 6 years old. The testicular examination should be taught to orchiopexy patients because of the slightly increased risk of cancer in either testicle (Altman, 1967).

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