Purpose: We investigated use of initial scrotal incision for the management of unilateral nonpalpable testis. Materials and Methods: Scrotal incision followed by laparoscopy was performed in a consecutive series of 40 boys with unilateral impalpable testis. Results: Initial scrotal incision revealed 22 scrotal nubbins and 4 extra-abdominal testes among the 40 patients. Of 13 patients with intra-abdominal testis 6 had a looping vas that was dissected to the internal ring via the scrotal incision, and the incision was used for orchiopexy in 12. Laparoscopy detected 1 case of intra-abdominal vanished testis but falsely diagnosed 6 additional cases based upon blind-ending vas and vessels despite a known scrotal nubbin. It also detected 13 intra-abdominal testes but was inconclusive in 14 cases in which vas and vessels exited the internal ring, not including the 4 patients with extra abdominal testes who did not undergo laparoscopy. Conclusions: Scrotal incision may be sufficient to diagnose testicular loss when a nubbin is encountered, and can detect an extra abdominal testis not palpated with the patient under anesthesia. The incision is used for orchiopexy in those patients with a testis that can be brought to the scrotum in a single stage. Laparoscopy potentially can be reserved for cases in which no nubbin is found and in all cases when a patent processus vaginalis is encountered.
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