If your son has an undescended testicle, his doctor might recommend surgery for diagnosis and potential treatment:

  • Laparoscopy. A small tube containing a camera is inserted through a small incision in your son's abdomen. Laparoscopy is done to locate an intra-abdominal testicle.

    The doctor might be able to fix the undescended testicle during the same procedure, but an additional surgery might be needed in some cases. Alternatively, laparoscopy might show no testicle present, or a small remnant of nonfunctioning testicular tissue that is then removed.

  • Open surgery. Direct exploration of the abdomen or groin through a larger incision might be necessary in some cases.

After birth, if the doctor can't detect any testicles in the scrotum, he or she might order further testing to determine if the testicles aren't there at all rather than undescended. Some conditions that result in absent testicles can cause serious medical problems soon after birth if left undiagnosed and untreated.

Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound and MRI, generally aren't recommended for diagnosing an undescended testicle.