Skip to content

Undescended testes

The testicles form within the abdomen during the early part of foetal development and then migrate through the inguinal canal to reach the scrotum by the time of birth. If this descent does not occur properly then the testis is referred to as an undescended testis.


The testis can stop descending at any point along its path although most commonly they reach the inguinal canal in the groin.

About 4% of babies will be born with an undescended testis but further descent can occur within the first year of life. By the age of 1, a little under 1% of boys will still have a testis which is absent from the scrotum. At this stage further descent is unlikely.


The scrotum provides the best environment for the testis to develop fully and so an operation is offered to bring the testicle down which is referred to as an orchidopexy. The exact nature of the operation depends on where the testis is located but for most boys the operation is done through a small incision in the groin and is performed as a daycase under general anaesthetic.

Bill McAllister

Martin Nuttall

Karan Wadhwa

Danny Swallow

Need an urgent appointment?

If you need an appointment urgently then please contact us and explain your situation and we will do our best to arrange an appointment as soon as possible.

Calender Icon
British Association of Urological Surgeons
Genesis Care
Ramsay Healthcare
Royal College of Surgeons of England
Spire Healthcare
Top Doctors