Purpose : In paediatric urology, one of the main applications of laparoscopy is the evaluation and treatment of impalpable testis. Herein we present our initial experience with laparoscopy in patients with impalpable testis.
Material and Methods : Laparoscopy was performed under general anaesthesia on 13 patients. If the internal spermatic vessels and vas deferens made their way into the internal inguinal ring, the inguinal canal was dissected. Laparoscopic orchiopexy or orchiectomy was performed in cases with intra-abdominal testis. If the internal spermatic vessels found terminated intraperitoneally with a blind-end, the case was considered as a vanishing testis.
Results : Thirteen boys, aged from 18 months to 25 years (median 9.8 years) were identified with 21 impalpable testes. 14 of the 21 impalpable testes, the vas and the vessels were through the internal ring, and the inguinal region needed dissection. Orchiopexy was performed on 12 testes and orchiectomy was performed on two atrophic testes. Four of 21 testes were intra-abdominally localized. Laparoscopic orchiopexy was performed in two testes and laparoscopic orchiectomy was performed in two testes. Two boys were diagnosed as vanishing testes; the absence was unilateral on the left side in one case and bilateral in the other.
Conclusion : Diagnostic laparoscopy is a very helpful, minimally invasive technique in the diagnosis of impalpable testes especially when ultrasonography and/or computed tomography are not informative enough. In addition, orchiectomy and orchiopexy can be done as laparoscopically in the patients with intra-abdominal testes. Therefore, the laparoscopy has an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of impalpable testes.