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Undescended testicle investigations

(11 Posts)
PansOnFire Sun 16-Feb-14 19:55:13

My DS is 14 months and has recently had an ultrasound scan to try to locate his missing testicle. The ultrasound showed that it is not in the lower area and we are going to an appointment tomorrow to discuss what happens next.

In the previous appointment we were told that if the scan didn't show anything then he would have to go for exploratory surgery to see if the testicle was higher up, I think this is what we will be told tomorrow.

Obviously I'm worried about what the investigative surgery will consist of, he'll definitely be given anaesthetic which terrifies me. But I'm most worried about the outcome. At first I hoped they wouldn't find anything so he'd just carry in as normal but I've done some reading that mentions issues with hormones and testicular cancer so this might actually be the worst outcome. Then there's the results of the operation to descend it if it is found, apparently the 'lost' one can remain tiny and cause hormone, cancer and fertility issues too. The dr at the scan was eager to tell us that the testicle he has is in perfect working order so I guess that's something.

I think I need some advice from anyone who has been through this just to tell me what questions I should be asking tomorrow. Or some advice from anyone who might know anything about it. Dr google is doing me no favours so I've stopped. I just feel like this is my first proper 'mum duty' and I don't think I'm doing very well, I'll be the one sobbing hysterically when this investigation has to be done and I don't want to be like that. I guess I'd feel more in control if I knew more about the risks, scenarios and outcomes. I just want to make the right decisions should we have any to make, although I realise that the decisions will probably be made for us.

I'm not so worried about the immediate consequences, more the consequences for him later in life.

KatieN1 Sun 16-Feb-14 23:15:36

Poor you, I really feel for you but please try not to worry too much. This really is a very common thing and I'm sure you'll have a much better feel for where things stand after tomorrow's ultrasound. One of my sons had a testicle which was at first very high then seemed ok then went up again. He had an operation at age 12 to bring it into position. The operation was very straightforward and apart from a little discomfort for a few days he made a very speedy recovery. Like you I was worried about testicular cancer but was able to be reassured about this after the operation. The surgeon explained that the testicle would be less fertile than the other one and may always feel smaller; my son thinks it feels bigger! The surgeon also advised my son to check his testicles regularly and to tell his brothers and friends to do the same so that's a positive effect

Good luck tomorrow with the scan; I'm sure it will be enough to show you what needs to be done. Take the advice of the medical staff and don't panic.

PansOnFire Mon 17-Feb-14 09:42:03

Thank you so much for your reply, it helps to know that other people have come out of the other side and I'm glad that your DS is ok. I've changed my mind about hoping they don't find anything, I think I was hoping this so he didn't have to go through anything else but in the long run it's better that there is something there for them to bring down. Hopefully they'll give me lots if information and advice on this today so that I will be reassured that my DS will be ok.

Thanks again.

raydown Mon 17-Feb-14 09:50:30

One thing you might want to ask about is future fertility. My dh had one undescended testicle that wasn't fixed until he was 3. He now has a very, very low sperm count. This is something we didn't know until we'd been trying to conceive for some time. The doctors didn't mention it to his parents at the time. The urologist that he saw when diagnosed with male factor infertility said that correction after 2years can cause the long term problems because of an immune response. He said he sees some patients who have zero sperm count. I think early correction is key to preventing infertility so perhaps ask about the optimum time to have any correction.

shouldnthavesaid Mon 17-Feb-14 12:03:30

Just a bit of reassurance - my father has one undescended testicle that was never treated at all, just diagnosed and then left. They conceived me without an issue, and conceived my sister through the contraceptive pill just eleven months later.

He also donated sperm for years with no issues. (That's another story)

I don't know if that's the case for everyone but certainly as far as we know it has never affected his fertility.

PansOnFire Mon 17-Feb-14 20:06:44

Thank you for the responses smile, our appointment went well today. There was no sign of the testicle from the scan (as we thought) so now we have to wait for an appointment for the investigation. They explained the procedure to us so I think I understand and they gave us 4 possible scenarios which I sort of knew.

I asked about the possibility of infertility and the consultant explained that because there were no issues with his present testicle then he doesn't have a higher chance of being infertile/having reduced fertility than someone with 2 present testicles. He also said that, statistically, males who have this issue have a higher chance of developing growths, including cancerous growths. It's because there is an issue with the cells in the first place. However, he said it was a very slightly higher chance and it's just as likely it won't. The operation won't affect this, it's predetermined already.

Either way, the operation has to be done to prevent complications that definitely will happen if his testicle is undescended rather than not there. We were told that if he has it brought down then there is still a chance that it will need to be removed. So it's a bit of a waiting game. The consultant also said that if he was self conscious about it later in life then he can have an artificial one fitted if he ended up with only one.

Thanks again for the responses, they've helped a lot. I'll update as and when I know more and that way it might help the next person who is facing this. It's a tough one because it's not an illness and it can seem a bit dramatic to get so upset about it, I think when the word 'routine' is used in hospital you can feel a bit daft asking loads of questions so the experiences of others are so valuable.

PinkApple86 Mon 17-Feb-14 23:16:13

Watching this as my ds (4 months) also has only one testicle. The gp has referred him to hospital for a scan too. My dh brother was also born with this issue and has conceived a child. I hope everything goes well for your ds pans

PinkApple86 Mon 17-Feb-14 23:16:40

Watching this as my ds (4 months) also has only one testicle. The gp has referred him to hospital for a scan too. My dh brother was also born with this issue and has conceived a child. I hope everything goes well for your ds pans

raydown Tue 18-Feb-14 10:03:10

That's all sounds reassuring, op. Even though it's a routine operation, it's not when it's your precious baby. It's not daft to ask lots of questions. I think my dh wishes that he'd been made aware of possible fertility problems because we wasted a lot of time trying before starting fertility investigations. We would have started trying earlier too so I think it's a good thing to have all the information. Best of luck for you and your son.

KatieN1 Tue 18-Feb-14 12:17:43

Anything affecting your own child is tough to deal with so never feel bad about being upset. It's so important to ask questions, you are your child's advocate so if you don't ask the questions who will?
Good luck with the next stage and try not to worry about the future; it's good to be aware of possible complications but try not to dwell on them. As my gran always said, "don't trouble trouble 'til trouble troubles you."

PinkApple86 Mon 10-Mar-14 20:45:54

how is your little one pans? My ds had his ultrasound this week and they also could not locate his other testicle. I'm starting to worry about it a bit more now. I don't want my baby to have an operation sad but I want to do everything I can for his future.

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