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Is it too late to operate for undescended testis?

Q: My friend, 24 years old, suffers from cryptorchidism. Till date he is not operated. Is it too late to operate?

A:Testis have two major functions in the body, (a) production and storage of sperms and (b) production of male hormones. Testis in abdomen at an adult age, as your friend is in, is exposed to higher abdominal temperature and has been observed to have higher incidence of cancer in comparison to normally placed testis. The usual age to bring the testes down to scrotum is before the age of two years. At this stage we need to locate his testes and remove the testis. If testis could be located by imaging before surgery, it would be a simple procedure and could be done through keyhole surgery (laparoscopy). In this case your friend could be back home the same day the surgery is done or may have to stay in the hospital overnight.

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