undescended testicle. UPDATED 12/22 - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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The Case Against Circumcision > undescended testicle. UPDATED 12/22
aisraeltax's Avatar aisraeltax 08:44 PM 12-26-2005
my son had this surgery and i have tried to explain what that involved (2 surgeries instead of one and you may want to ask your son's urologist about that procedure). but first i wanted to warn you about the medical consent/ etc. many people have been telling you about here.
my son has a bleeding disorder. he also has an increased risk with "normal" anesthesia. both of these issues were very critical when dealing with his surgeries. drs. and anesthesiologists disagreed w/ what was "fact" and not when dealing with them. at one point, i threatened to cancel a surgery b/c the anesthesiologist was disagreeing with me. LOOK OVER EVERY PIECE OF PAPER YOU SIGN! EVERY PIECE OF PAPER WITH YOUR SIGNATURE SHOULD HAVE THE REQUIREMENTS YOU HAVE EXPRESSED TO YOUR DRS/ANESTHESIOLOGISTS!
Oral agreements are not going to do you any good. I had papers pushed in my face that did not state any issues with the bleeding or anesthesia issues. I marked them in bold pen and had the dr/anest. intiial the additions. I am telling you...I had to fight every step of the way, including at 5:30 am on teh date of surgery. That is what started me questioning the medical profession (ds2 had 5 surgeries in his 2nd year).

i havent read all the replies regarding the surgery here, so forgive me if i repeat anything but i saw the title of this thread and wanted to share what i learned.
my son had an undescended testicle (he has Noonan's Syndrome and its a very common thing w/ boys). He had 2 surgeries for this problem when he was 2 (also had other surgeries that are not relevant).
the reason i feel compelled to post is that i have spoken to mothers whose sons have had surgery for undescended testicles and their surgeries have been diffierent, so you may want to check into which method is right for you.
sorry i dont know about the circ. issue b/c ds2 is circ'd. i didnt know any better at the time.
ds2 had 2 surgeries b/c his urologist felt that he had a better chance of the undescended testicle surviving if the lower blood vessels were given a chance to "take over" before the testicle was pulled down. ds2 ended up having another surgery 3 months later anyway so we were able to combine those 2 later surgeries. i dont know if i can explain this but i will try.
the undescended testicle has 2 sets of blood vessels attached to it. one set from the top; one from the bottom. the urologist at Children's Hosp. in Boston feels that simply cutting the top blood vessels and "descending" the testicle right away is very traumatic for the testicle. so, he chose to cut the top blood vessels and allow the blood vessels from the bottom to take over as the primary source of blood flow. then, 3 months later, the testicle was descended.
whether the surgery is successful or not can not really be determined until he becomes fertile. as far as how it looks, there is a small difference but not a significant one. i imagine that the difference will be more significant when he is older.
good luck and if you have any more questions on what my son went through, feel free to ask!
rach

shannajoy's Avatar shannajoy 01:09 AM 12-27-2005
Thanks for sharing your experience and advice Rach! I will definitely look at all required paperwork very closely. Alex's testicle is descended just above and kinda next to his scrotum, so he only needs one operation to get it in there (instead of the two just like you described). One and a half weeks to go...we're nervous!
aisraeltax's Avatar aisraeltax 02:23 AM 12-27-2005
hi. not a problem. sorry for the long post. Mikey's testicle was basically where it started (can't remember exactly where at this point..somewhere in the chest area), so it sounds like Alex has a different situation.
good luck with everythign. i know how hard it can be to have your son go into surgery.
one more word of caution..they told us it would only take about 2 hours for the surgery but it was more like 5 hours. it was the only time i had ever been away from him and it was sooo hard.
take a bunch of different stuff w/ you to the hospital. no one thing will keep your attention.
sending good hospital experience vibes.


hugs
rach
maida's Avatar maida 09:58 AM 01-01-2006
I just found out my son has undescended testicles and he turned three this past October.

I'm not sure why my previous pediatrician never made the diagnosis.
She was a great doctor, but moved out of state, so I can't ask her why now. Our new pediatrician referred us to the surgeon right away after his three year well check. She didn't make it seem urgent, and now I'm sorry I waited two months to see the surgeon.

With this late diagnosis, I worry about his future fertility.

They don't seem to be in his abdomen, though, they are behind the pubic fat mound most of the time.

In his case, it is both testicles. The doctor can pull them down to the scrotum, but they never seem to be there on their own, not when he is asleep and not when he is in a warm bath.

From what the surgeon told us, males with undescended testicles do have a higher chance of testicular cancer. Surgery doesn't fix that statistic, it just makes it easier to detect.

Interestingly, the surgeon said that there is a remote possibility that going under general anesthesia would cause the testicles to descend on their own (the ultimate relaxed state).

I can't even type about this without getting all weepy. I'm just sick with worry about my little guy going under general anesthesia.

I'll be watching this thread to see how things go for Stella and Shanna's boys.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 01:52 PM 01-01-2006
Maida, As I understand it, undescended testicles will not come down at all and what you're describing is retractile testicles. If that is correct, no surgery is needed, this is just one of the variations of normal. I have retractile testicles and they are retracted maybe 30% -40% of the time with no ill effects. It's been that way all of my life.

I would strongly recommend that you research all of the information you can find on these two conditions and I would get a second opinion from a pediatric urologist. Ask for an explanation of why your son has one and not the other. If the urologist's information doesn't jive with what you've learned from your research, go for another opinion until you are satisfied with the information you're getting. At this point, a couple of months isn't going to make any difference and it sounds like maybe surgery won't be necessary or beneficial for your son.




Frank
maida's Avatar maida 05:08 PM 01-01-2006
Thank you so much for your reply. I researched through the night and also came to the conclusion that I wanted to see a pediatric urologist for another opinion. Thank you for validating/confirming my decision. I can't tell you how much that means to me. My husband and I talked it over this morning, and is completely supportive, as I knew he would be.

I found this page from American Family Physician® journal article which has a lot of information, a dx chart and pictures of physical palpitation as well as of the surgery

http://www.aafp.org/afp/20001101/2037.html

Quote:
Undescended testicles can be categorized on the basis of physical and operative findings: (1) true undescended testicles (including intra-abdominal, peeping at the internal ring and canalicular testes), which exist along the normal path of descent and have a normally inserted gubernaculum; (2) ectopic testicles, which have an abnormal gubernacular insertion; and (3) retractile testicles, which are not truly undescended. The most important category to distinguish on physical examination is the retractile testis, because no hormone or surgical therapy is required for this condition.
It further talks about the actual physical palpitation with photos...

Quote:
A true undescended or ectopic inguinal testicle will be felt to "pop" under the examiner's fingers during this maneuver. A low ectopic or retractile testicle will be felt by the opposite hand as it is "milked" into the scrotum. The ectopic testicle will immediately spring out of the scrotum when it is released. The retractile testicle will remain momentarily in the scrotum until further stimulation causes a cremasteric reflex.

Differentiation of a retractile testis from a true undescended testis is sometimes difficult; consultation with a urologist may be valuable.
I believe now that he may have an ectopic testicles, since the testicles do not stay descended momentarily. While this would still require surgery, I would just like to get confirmation from someone who is not a surgeon.

After looking further into the hormonal treatment, because of his age and the fact that this is most likely ectopic testicles which are physically unable to stay down, this course does not seem likely to succeed.

So, while surgery still seems likely, I feel more informed than I did 24 hours ago.

This has been an interesting experience so far. Because of his age, I felt it was necessary to explain to him that no one should touch his genitals unless it was a doctor with mama and/or dada present, or unless it was his mama and dada. I also told him that I was checking because "the doctor thinks you might need surgery and mama needs to make sure he is right."

Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to share what I have experienced so far in my research for any other parents who find themselves in this situation.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 05:45 PM 01-01-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by maida
I would just like to get confirmation from someone who is not a surgeon.
Just understand that by definition, a urologist is a surgeon.




Frank
maida's Avatar maida 06:21 PM 01-01-2006
Main Entry: urol·o·gist
Pronunciation: yu-'rä-l&-jist
Function: noun
: a physician who specializes in the urinary or urogenital tract

At least that's what m-w.com defines one as...
shannajoy's Avatar shannajoy 06:06 PM 01-06-2006
Just wanted to give a quick update on my little boy. Alex's surgery went well, he had an undescended testicle on his right side (and a small hernia there), and fluid surrounding his descended left testicle (and another hernia on the left too). I wasn't expecting the incisions to be so big. The two on his lower abdomen are probably just over an inch long and the one on his scrotum is maybe half an inch long.

Thank you to everyone for your support and advice! I read through the paperwork and also told everyone involved that his foreskin was not to be retracted for any reason. I'm especially glad I did because one of the older nurses (a very sweet lady) asked me why. I explained that it's still attached (like a finger nail to her finger). She didn't know that. Probably because a lot of boys around here are circed. I'm glad he wasn't catheterized (sp?).

Maida, I hope your experience goes well!

Alex is taking a nap right now, I better get some rest while I can. This may be a loooooong night.
LeosMama's Avatar LeosMama 06:11 PM 01-06-2006
I'm so glad everything went alright and that they were respectful of his body. And it sounds like a very good thing that you took care of this problem in a timely manner.
Good mothering all around, mama.
maida's Avatar maida 07:27 PM 01-06-2006
I'm so glad that Alex's surgery went well!

We have an appointment with a pediatric urologist on Jan 19th for a second opinion.

With palpitation, I have been able to guide Zander's testicles down to the scrotum. I try and do it once every day or so. I *think* they are staying down some of the time, but he gets all tickly and giggly about it, so I don't check him as often as I'd like to.

Interestingly, we found out that DH's brother has retractile testicles. I'm not sure if its genetic or not...

I'll let you know what we find out.
shannajoy's Avatar shannajoy 12:47 AM 01-07-2006
Thank you LeosMama!

Maida, I didn't know testicles were ticklish! Better than being painful though! I'm curious to find out how the pediatric urologist appt on Jan 19th goes. Even if he does need surgery, he probably wouldn't need as many incisions as Alex. Crossing my fingers for you!
maida's Avatar maida 04:27 AM 01-16-2006
Shanna, thank you for sharing your experience. How is the recovery going?

Last night when I was changing Zander's diaper, he told me "Check my tentacles, mom" LOL!

I looked down and could see that his testicles were actually in the scrotum. I burst into tears, I was so happy about it. :

The next time we changed him, they were back up, but at least I know that they "reach." So, if he does have to have the surgery, it won't be so severe. :

Or maybe he won't have to have it at all...

Our follow up appt is on Thursday. Please keep us in your thoughts and send descending vibes our way
maida's Avatar maida 06:11 PM 01-19-2006
We just got back from the doctor who told us that Zander has RETRACTILE testicles and is perfectly normal and does not require surgery.

:
I am the happiest mama on the planet right now!

It was the best doctor's appt ever. The ladies in the office were so nice and just doted on the boys while we waited. They got stickers, lollipops and really enjoyed their saltwater tank. They usually don't get very many kids there, being a urological office.

Anyway, the doctor said that since Zander's testicles (or as Zander calls them: tentacles ) go all the way down to the bottom of his scrotum, that he is normal.

It's possible that Zander was just very tense the day of our first appt, which is why the other doctor recommended surgery. I don't fault the other doctor...neither of his testicles were down that day.

Anyway, I'm just happy that my baby is not going under the knife! :
whateverdidiwants's Avatar whateverdidiwants 06:48 PM 01-19-2006
Fabulous news!
hummingbear's Avatar hummingbear 07:12 PM 01-19-2006

shannajoy's Avatar shannajoy 10:07 PM 01-19-2006
Oh that is great news!!!! I'm so happy you guys don't have to go through this surgery. Alex is almost all healed, the scars are a little pink but there's no more bruising on his scrotum. It's kinda weird to see both testicles in his scrotum now when I change his diaper! :-) It's great that both of your boys had such a good time at the doctor's office too
!
njeb's Avatar njeb 10:50 PM 01-19-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by maida
We just got back from the doctor who told us that Zander has RETRACTILE testicles and is perfectly normal and does not require surgery.

:
I am the happiest mama on the planet right now!

It was the best doctor's appt ever. The ladies in the office were so nice and just doted on the boys while we waited. They got stickers, lollipops and really enjoyed their saltwater tank. They usually don't get very many kids there, being a urological office.

Anyway, the doctor said that since Zander's testicles (or as Zander calls them: tentacles ) go all the way down to the bottom of his scrotum, that he is normal.

It's possible that Zander was just very tense the day of our first appt, which is why the other doctor recommended surgery. I don't fault the other doctor...neither of his testicles were down that day.

Anyway, I'm just happy that my baby is not going under the knife! :
What wonderful news!!! to you and your ds!
maida's Avatar maida 11:30 PM 01-19-2006
Thank you so much everyone for your well wishes! I am sure you can imagine how thrilled we are!
homebirthing's Avatar homebirthing 01:38 AM 01-20-2006
I just read through this thread and how nice it is to get instant satisfaction!! I am SO GLAD that you decided to get a second opinion!! YAY for your family!!
LadyMarmalade's Avatar LadyMarmalade 06:45 AM 01-20-2006
That's fantastic news! My husband has the same thing. I'm so happy you got a second opinion!!!
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