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Orchiopexy: Discharge instructions

Translations available: Spanish

What is an orchiopexy?

An orchiopexy is surgery to move an undescended testicle into the scrotum or to secure an intermittently twisting or retractile testis within the scrotum.

Why was surgery needed?

Before birth, the testicles move from the abdomen (belly) down into the scrotum. In some boys, this does not occur, and it is called an undescended testicle. It can occur in one or both testicles. If undescended testicles are left too long, changes can occur which may affect growth and function. Surgery is done to preserve function of the testicles and make it easier to examine them.

Orchiopexies are also performed to prevent testes from retracting or twisting.

What can I expect after surgery?

Most boys go home the day of surgery. Your child will have some soreness that can be controlled with medicine.

There are usually 2 small incisions – one in the groin and one on the scrotum. The incisions are held together by stitches under the skin. The stitches will dissolve within a few weeks. The incision may be covered by a clear plastic bandage, gauze and tape, or Steri-strips® (small pieces of tape).

In certain circumstances, laparoscopy may be necessary. If so, your son may have an incision in the umbilicus and possibly two small incisions in the abdomen. Discuss this with your surgeon.

The groin or scrotum may be swollen and bruised for a few days.

How should I care for my son?

If a gauze bandage is placed over the incision, take it off the next day. If a plastic dressing is on the incision, take it off after a week. Steri-strips® usually fall off within 2 weeks. It is not a problem if they fall off sooner. If still on, they can be taken off after 2 weeks.

Your son may bathe the day after surgery. If he wears diapers, gently wash the scrotum at each diaper change. Apply an antibiotic ointment to the incision on the scrotum at each diaper change, or 4 times a day for boys not in diapers, for 1 week. Let it melt around the area; do not try to spread it. The ointment helps prevent infection around the stitches.

What can my child eat?

Your child may prefer clear liquids or a soft diet at first, but should be able to go back to a regular diet within a few days. Liquids are more important than foods.

How active can my child be?

Healing can take several days. Encourage quiet play or non-strenuous activity initially. Your child should be able to return to normal activity within a week. Most surgeons prefer that your child avoid straddle toys, bike riding and horseback riding for the first few weeks.

What else do I need to know?

See your Patient Discharge Summary sheet for specific instructions about pain medicines and when to see the surgeon again.

When should I call the surgeon?

  • any bleeding the day after surgery
  • vomiting the day after surgery or continued stomach upset
  • not urinating at least every 8 hours
  • pain that is not relieved with the prescribed medicines
  • temperature higher than 102° F
  • increasing swelling, redness, or pain in the incision or the area around it
  • cloudy drainage coming from the incision


This sheet is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the surgeon.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015 ©Copyright

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit

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