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What are the implications if the child is born with a single testis?

Q: My son is 4 years old. He had only one testicle on the right side at the time of the birth. In a recent ultrasound, it was found that the second one is not noticeable on the screen. Our company surgeon advised us to go for surgery immediatley. However, other doctors are advising us to wait till the boy attains the age of 6/7 years. Should we go for a surgery immediately or wait? What are the implications if the boy has a single testicle? Is the operation complicated or simple? Can the defect be cured by using medicines?

A:Firstly, your child must undergo surgery now and not later as suggested by some doctors. In fact, you are already late by a couple of years. We normally advise surgery at 1 year of age for best results. But then, the surgery must be done by a competent child surgeon, who knows how to deal with delicate tissues. Secondly, if the ultrasound says that the testis is absent, this need not be the case. Often we have found these tests to be misleading. We are routinely doing a diagnostic laparoscopy first to locate the testis, and then do an open procedure to bring it down. In case the laparoscopy fails to find the testis, there is no point looking for it any further. Thirdly, even if one testis is absent, there is really no cause for concern as the fertility is likely to be near normal.

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