A retractile testicle is likely to descend on its own before or during puberty. If your son has a retractile testicle, your son's doctor will monitor any changes in the testicle's position in annual evaluations to determine if it stays in the scrotum, remains retractile or becomes an ascending testicle.
If the testicle has ascended — no longer movable by hand —your son's doctor will likely recommend surgery to move the testicle permanently into the scrotum. Also, if the testicle is still retractile during puberty, surgery will likely be recommended in the early teen years to ensure proper maturation of the testicle.
During this surgical procedure (orchiopexy), the surgeon frees the testicle and cord from any attached tissues, positions the testicle in the scrotum and stitches it into place.
After surgery, bicycle riding must be avoided and other sports activity limited for a couple of weeks. Follow-up exams to assess wound healing and the position of the testicle will be needed two weeks after surgery and again after six months.
Adolescent boys and men who have had treatments to correct an ascending or retractile testicle should regularly monitor the position of the testicle to ensure it doesn't ascend at a later time.
Although hormone treatments have been used to treat ascending testicles or retractile testicles in adolescents, the American Urology Association's 2014 guidelines no longer include this intervention because of a lack of evidence for successful response or long-term effectiveness.
Sept. 16, 2015
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