Objectives: To evaluate the impact of laparoscopy in the treatment of patients with previous negative inguinal exploration for impalpable undescended testes.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of patients who underwent laparoscopy after prior incomplete or "questionable" negative inguinal explorations for nonpalpable undescended testes.
Results: Twenty-seven males aged 1 to 22 years old, with 30 impalpable testes, underwent laparoscopy after prior negative open exploration. The operative notes were available for all patients. In 9 patients (33%), blind-ending spermatic vessels, vas deferens, and a closed ring were found. However, in the remaining 18 patients (67%), viable intra-abdominal or inguinal gonads (9 patients) and intra-abdominal remnants (9 patients) were identified. In 1 patient, seminoma of an intra-abdominal testis was present.
Conclusions: When a patient is referred with an inconclusive previous open exploration for an impalpable gonad, laparoscopy has an important role in establishing or refuting the diagnosis of an absent testis. Moreover, therapeutic laparoscopy provides definitive options to standard open techniques when a viable testis or remnant is encountered. In this study, laparoscopy proved more accurate than open exploration with operative notes available defining the nature of the exploration.