Laparoscopy for nonpalpable testes in childhood: is inguinal exploration also necessary when vas and vessels exit the inguinal ring?

J Urol. 1992 Aug;148(2 Pt 2):635-7; discussion 638. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)36676-4.


Laparoscopy has proved to be a safe method for determining the status for nonpalpable testes. In a combined series 52 boys with 57 nonpalpable testes were evaluated laparoscopically. Of the 57 nonpalpable testes 26 were located above the internal inguinal ring (abdominal), 4 were found more distally, and blind-ending vas and vessels terminated in the abdomen in 3, and beyond the internal ring (vanished testes) in 24. Of 29 abdominal testes primary orchiopexy was performed in 15, 4 were removed, the vessels were transected (Fowler-Stephens) in 5, stage 1 of staged repairs was done in 2, distinct laparoscopic evidence of blind-ending vessels and vas obviated further surgery in 2, and testis was not identified either laparoscopically or by abdominal exploration. Finally, inguinal exploration in 28 children in whom vas and vessels were found to exit the internal ring resulted in localization of 4 testes that were brought into the scrotum. Removal of 23 testicular nubbins and their evaluation histologically resulted in identification of viable tubular structures in 3. We recommend inguinal exploration in all children who on laparoscopy are found to have vas and vessels exit the internal ring, and removal of testicular nubbins.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessels / pathology
  • Child
  • Cryptorchidism / diagnosis*
  • Cryptorchidism / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inguinal Canal / pathology*
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Male
  • Palpation
  • Testis / blood supply
  • Vas Deferens / pathology*