Research Activities February 2013, No. 390
Both laparoscopic and open surgical techniques found effective for moving undescended testicles to normal position
A new review of the existing research on evaluation and treatment of undescended testicles (cryptorchidism) finds that both laparoscopic and open surgical techniques are effective for moving undescended testicles to a normal position in the scrotum. However, the review by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quallity (AHRQ) also finds that no specific imaging technique can consistently determine the presence or absence of testicles or the location of undescended testicles. There also is not enough evidence to evaluate if hormonal stimulation testing can determine the absence of testicles.
Additional studies comparing various imaging techniques are needed to determine which techniques produce the best results and eliminate the need for surgical evaluation. Future studies should also seek to identify the appropriate age for treatment and which types of patients would benefit from hormonal treatment for undescended testicles, a treatment that has been shown to work in some people.
Cryptorchidism is a congenital condition in which one or both testicles are not appropriately positioned in the scrotum at birth and cannot be moved into the proper position manually. It affects an estimated 3 percent of full-term male neonates and up to 30 percent of premature infants, making it the most common male genital anomaly identified at birth.
These findings are available in the research review Evaluation and Treatment of Cryptorchidism, which can viewed at AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Web site at http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov.