If the testicle does not descend on its own, treatment will be needed. The goal of treatment is to prevent problems making sperm and hormones and to lower the risk of cancer developing. Treatment should be done at around 1 year of age or 18 months at the latest.
In some cases, hormone injections may be used to try to prompt the testicle to move to the scrotum on its own. This treatment is not usually recommended because surgery is much more effective.
The main treatment for cryptorchidism is surgery to move the testicle into the scrotum (orchidopexy). This surgery is nearly 100% successful. If a testicle has not fully descended by the age of 6 months, surgery should be performed within the subsequent year. Delaying treatment can increase the risk of testicular cancer or infertility later in life.
Surgery for a palpable testicle involves two incisions: one in the abdomen to locate and move the testicle and one in the scrotum to reposition the testicle.
Surgery for a non-palpable testicle includes an examination with laparoscopy. This is done with the boy under general anaesthesia. Laparoscopy is the best way to look for an undescended testicle in the abdomen. Removal or repositioning can be done during laparoscopy if needed.