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Laparoscopic Retrieval of the Cryptorchid Testicle

Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum within the early weeks of birth. In early fetal development, the testicles are in the abdominal cavity near the kidneys. Around the time of birth, they descend into the lower abdominal cavity and exit through the inguinal ring and into the scrotum. In some individuals one or both of the testicles do not completely descend into the scrotum and are either in the abdomen (abdominal cryptorchid), inguinal ring, or subcutaneous tissue of the inguinal area (out of the abdomen but not quite into the scrotum). Retained testicles can be very abnormal in their appearance and difficult to identify. They are also more prone to develop into tumors (9-13 times more likely) or have torsion and so removal is recommended for the benefit of the pet.

With the laparoscopic cryptorchid testicle retrieval, a single incision is made for the 10mm port (less than half of an inch in size). The testicle is most commonly located near the bladder, although it can be  anywhere from the kidney to the inguinal ring. Once the testicle is identified, it is dissected free and removed from the abdomen through the port. Depending on the testicle size the incision may need to be enlarged for removal from the abdominal cavity. Rarely, a testicle can be lodged in the inguinal ring so tightly that laparoscopic instruments cannot retrieve it. As with all laparoscopic procedures, there is a chance that the procedure may need to be converted to an open or traditional surgery based on patient condition or circumstances.

See our web page on minimally invasive surgery for general details on laparoscopy.

 A cryptorchid testicle (1) is identified in the abdomen adjacent to the urinary bladder (2)