Psychologic considerations suggest that the optimal time for elective surgery on the genitalia is either the first 6 months of life or sometime during the fourth year. In the child with cryptorchidism, physiologic considerations are of paramount importance and the timing of treatment should be based on these considerations. Despite the conflicting views on the subject, there is suggestive evidence that early orchiopexy—during the first year of life or soon afterwards—may be the most optimal time for orchiopexy, but further investigation would be necessary to confirm this. Currently, timing of operation is based more on psychologic rather than physiologic factors (although both are taken into account), and should remain unchanged until further evidence accumulates.
The Committee feels that the later the orchiopexy after age 6, the more likely germinal epithelial failure will occur. However, it should be pointed out that 5 or 6 has not proven to represent optimal age in respect to germinal function but only the latest recommended age for orchiopexy.
In patients with hypospadias, technical considerations have the greatest bearing on timing, but, depending on the individual surgeon, the precise timing varies. The period after the third birthday is preferred by the majority; this certainly is consistent with psychologic considerations unless the correction of chordee justifies a separate cedure, which then should be corrected by age 2.
- Copyright © 1975 by the American Academy of Pediatrics