Undescended left testicle in 4 year old. Any mothers with similar issue declined surgery? please read!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-08-2011, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,


I am new to the forum and I am in need of some advice.


Before I start please let me just state that I am fully aware of any risks and I have done as much research as my brain can handle on the subject of undescended testicle- the condition also comes from both sides of my sons family too but I am looking for a non-biased opinion and advice from mothers with children of similar age.


Here goes.


Nicholas is 4 in September and I have known of his problem since birth and also been very sceptical about any surgery to treat the condition- as any mother would be!


I have heard all the risk factors from infertility to testis cancer etc: in fact it's pretty much been shoved so far down my throat that Im choking on it.


My dad aged 65- left undescended testicle- 3 children, no cancer, inguinal hernia developed at aged 63.


My son's uncle on his dad's side- undescended testicle, dropped by 8 years old- just become a father- perfectlt fine, well and happy.


Both had no treatment whatsoever.


Dr after Dr has given me the ''Oh its in Nicholas' best interest to have this surgery''- May I add every single person my son has seen was a paediatric surgeon (go figure- they never offer alternatives)


I come across the hormone therapy thats available to promote natural descent of the testicle but for some reason or another dr's seem not to know anything about it and when I do mention it I get the ''Oh well it doesn't work as well as surgery''- maybe not but as a parent who doesnt want surgery cant we atleast give it a try? Each time my ''alterntave remedy to surgery'' has been dismissed.


I took my dad into the Drs surgery with me to try fight my corner (so to speak) my dad wasnt even acknowledged (how rude is that??)

Drs look at me like Im crazy for not wanting my son to have surgery- they cant seem to understand why (given the history) I'd be slightly apprehensive about the whole thing.

I had one Dr threaten me (indirectly) with ''childrens services'' should I say no to the surgery WTF?

This dr then went on to write a follow up to my sons health visitor stating after a ''long discussion about pro's and cons'' I had ''AGREED'' to have the surgery done.

My health visitor got back to me about this letter and said as soon as she read it she thought ''Theres no way Jeanine would ever have said any of this'' (she knows my views)

This dr got me so frightened that I found myself weeping and just agreeing and nodding in all the right places that suited her.

I then went on to get another opinion from a private surgeon who told me that although Nicholas' teste is undescended and ''Needed'' treatment, he would probably live a happy healthy life with the one fully descended, has a very small risk of cancer and will go on to father children (however advised it needed doing)

I agreed just to shut people up and that was in April... The surgery was booked for Oct and the date is approaching very fast- I have done as much research as I can and I just cannot convince myself my son NEEDS this op.


I have had some lovely advice from a lady on here already that made me feel A LOT better but if I try to explain her story to the dr's they will just tell me ''medicine has improved considerably since X, Y and Z''


One dr told me my son had right sided hydrocele (fluid build up) and because he was over 2 years old (the condition again was diagnosed at birth) he would also need surgery on that, too!!

Well when I took him for a check up last week there was no sign of this hydrocele- so back in April, had I agreed to surgery on that particular problem it would potentially have been an unecessarry procedure for something that would have cleared up on its own (despite numerous drs claiming otherwise)


I also suffered health anxiety for many years and I just know that my refusal for this surgery is going to be seen as a reflection on that- Im terrified these dr will go to ''higher authority'' to get me to agree to the operation..

I simply cannot agree at all.

Ive researched and researched... spoke to men between 16-26 with the same problem whom have never encountered a problem  but CHOSE to have the surgery later in life and went on to have 3/4 kids....  (the surgery was their choice)

I want my son to decide as he gets older- should he come to me ''Mum I want the surgery'' I would NEVER stop him- however, based on what I know already and the advice Ive had from others who have been in the same situation I cant see myself ever saying yes at this time (unless Nicholas CHOSE to have it done himself) and I know that if I do tell the drs I cant agree, they'll ask me if someone else can do it on my behalf- 

What kind of treatment is that as a mother? ''Oh you wont agree to it, you wont sign the consent papers so will someone else''....


Can ANYONE advise me- 

I know all about the surgery, how long it takes etc etc (my friends son had it done and even then had no guarantees of anything)

Im trying to find parents who are against surgery (unless absolutely 100% needed) and those who had the courage to say ''Listen, this is MY son... and I am telling you NO!''

I need to find the strength.

I'd also like to add that my sons teste is in the left superficial inguinal canal and is palpable, movable and I can feel the bottom of the teste at the top of the scrotum.


Please help me. Thank you so much xxx

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#2 of 7 Old 08-08-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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not one person ??? :(

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#3 of 7 Old 11-25-2011, 10:09 AM
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Here is an older forum on this that I found.  My son is one, and is supposed to have this surgery as well.  I have done a lot of research on this, and have A LOT of reservations about this, as well.  Not sure what I am going to do just yet.  I wish you all the luck in the world with this difficult decision.


That said, I am leaning towards doing the surgery, because I do not want to do the hormone therapy.  Hormones scare me.


Good luck!!!!

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#4 of 7 Old 10-18-2012, 09:39 PM
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You still there? I'm dealing with this now w/ my 3 year old.
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#5 of 7 Old 11-04-2012, 05:46 PM
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First, let me wish you luck with this tough decision.  I certainly understand your reluctance to surgery.  It seems that many doctors, especialy those skilled with a scalpel, will always jump to surgery without ever offering, or even mentioning, less invasive options.  I am a guy who has lived with retractile testes all my life with no ill effects (2 children). Whether they were always retractile or appeared undescended when I was young, I do not remember.  My son also has a retractile testis, and from what I remember, his was always tertactile, going up when it was cold and comming down when he was hot.  One way to test is to have your son sit cross legged in a hot bath, so that his scrotam is relaxed, and see if the testicle will move down.

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#6 of 7 Old 11-21-2013, 05:41 AM
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Hello to all, My question is did the doctor give any restriction such as playing, or  riding a bike, you know normal things that could put him at risk for injury? And my son has little to no girth around his and they are small when I check them, is this also a finding that has been detected with this issue amongst people on the forum?

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#7 of 7 Old 11-21-2013, 10:57 AM
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Update: we did the surgery. I did not want to do it. If we had the same family history as the OP I would be very reluctant as well. But we don't. And what ultimately swayed me was that there is an increased cancer risk if the testicle remains undescended/above the scrotum. My son was 3 years old. He did not have an undescended testicle exactly, technically it was ascending. It had started out in the scrotum but as he grew it was retracting. When he had the surgery the urologist said it looked like the remnants of an old hernia were what was tethering the testicle & causing it to move up as he grew. This seems plausible to me as my son had food sensitivities & cried A LOT in the early months. I could see him giving himself a hernia.

We did the surgery at a children's hospital. I printed out multiple copies of "surgery preferences" (kinda like a birth plan if you're giving birth in the hospital) & brought it in with coffee & baked goods. It was very well received, the staff was very accommodating & did not make me feel like "the crazy mom" at all. I declined the verced (it has red dye & my husband has had bad reactions to it) and the "spinal block" (they typically give them an epidural in addition to the general anesthesia). I used a homeopathic regimen for one week before the surgery & for about a week after. My son's recovery was amazing. I gave him one half dose of dye free children's tylenol after the surgery (mostly to make my husband feel better!) and that was it. We were so concerned he would be in major pain. But he wasn't. His surgery was also less invasive than most though. The testicle was low enough that the urologist was able to make the in incision only in the scrotum. Typically they do an incision in the abdomen & the scrotum. I requested no antibiotics as well and the urologist had no problem with that. We did not have any subsequent infection. I was also very clear that no one mess with his foreskin.

After the surgery they are not supposed to use riding toys & you're supposed to avoid the car seat or anything else that would put pressure down there as much as possible.

Today, almost exactly one year later, the testicle is still small. It actually hasn't grown at all. I don't think the urologist made this clear to me before the surgery but apparently this is normal. It may grow at puberty or it may not.

Our urologist was very laid back about it. He recommended doing the surgery but he didn't try to guilt me into it. We tried a lot of other things before we resorted to surgery, including acupuncture & osteopathic manipulation. The DO was actually really helpful & was able to keep the testicle from ascending any further for a solid six months. But he couldn't bring it down into the scrotum, likely because the old hernia tissue was holding it in place and literally had to be cut. Our urologist didn't recommend the hormone therapy for our case. He said he will often try it both testicles are undescended. But hormone therapy is not without risks either.

Anyway, sorry I didn't update sooner. But there it is. I wouldn't say I'm glad we did it, but I will say the surgery itself was not as bad as I expected and all went best case scenario.
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