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J Urol. 2004 Oct;172(4 Pt 2):1742-5; discussion 1745.

Initial scrotal incision for unilateral nonpalpable testis.

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Division of Pediatric Urology, Children's Medical Center and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75235, USA.



We investigated use of initial scrotal incision for the management of unilateral nonpalpable testis.


Scrotal incision followed by laparoscopy was performed in a consecutive series of 40 boys with unilateral impalpable testis.


Initial scrotal incision revealed 22 scrotal nubbins and 4 extra-abdominal testes among the 40 patients. Of 13 patients with intra-abdominal testis 6 had a looping vas that was dissected to the internal ring via the scrotal incision, and the incision was used for orchiopexy in 12. Laparoscopy detected 1 case of intra-abdominal vanished testis but falsely diagnosed 6 additional cases based upon blind-ending vas and vessels despite a known scrotal nubbin. It also detected 13 intra-abdominal testes but was inconclusive in 14 cases in which vas and vessels exited the internal ring, not including the 4 patients with extra abdominal testes who did not undergo laparoscopy.


Scrotal incision may be sufficient to diagnose testicular loss when a nubbin is encountered, and can detect an extra abdominal testis not palpated with the patient under anesthesia. The incision is used for orchiopexy in those patients with a testis that can be brought to the scrotum in a single stage. Laparoscopy potentially can be reserved for cases in which no nubbin is found and in all cases when a patent processus vaginalis is encountered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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