Undescended testis: timing of referral and surgical intervention, Urology Center, Benghazi, Libya.

Abdalla Mohamed Etabbal, Omar A. El Tarhuni, Ashraf F. Trhawi


Background: Undescended testis (UDT) is the failure of testes to descend into the scrotum.  It is classified according to the site of arrest into; Intra-abdominal, deep inguinal ring, canalicular, or emergent from the superficial inguinal ring. The diagnosis of UDT is mainly clinical and its treatment is usually surgical. The aim of our study is to analyze age distribution at the time of diagnosis and treatment to determine if the international guideline recommendations are followed in our institution or not.

 Patients & Methods: A retrospective study was carried at Urological Center by reviewing the files of 75 consecutive patients admitted to the hospital in the period from July 2011 to April 2014. A data flow sheet was used to record and analyze the patients’ personal data, age at diagnosis, physical findings, type of surgical procedure, and the age of the patients at the time of surgery, as well as surgical findings.

 Results: Total number of patients enrolled in the study was 75 patients. Fifty-two cases were diagnosed at birth, 14 cases discovered incidentally, and 9 cases were presented with reducible inguinal swelling with or without pain. The 75 patients had 93 UDTs, 49 UDTs on right side and 44 UDTs on left side. Sixty-nine UDTs were clinically palpable while the other 24 UDTs were not palpable (74.2% and 25.8% respectively). The mean age at the time of diagnosis was 3.7 ± 8.3 years. However, the mean age at the time of surgery was 10.8 ± 10 years. The surgical procedures performed were: orchiopexy (n=58, 62.3 %,), orchiopexy combined with ipsilateral hernial repair (n=16, 17.2%) and orchiectomy (n=19, 20.4%).

 Conclusion:  In our institution, the mean age at orchiopexy was significantly delayed beyond the recommended time of surgery because of delayed diagnosis or referral.

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