Pattern of presentation and management of patients with undescended testis at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Tanzania
Objective: To assess the pattern or presentation, management and advice given to the parents or guardians of patients with undescended testes (UDT) at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Tanzania.
Subjects and methods: From July 2010 to May 2011, 30 patients with UDT were prospectively evaluated regarding age at surgery, place of birth, information given to parents or guardians, side and site affected, results of ultrasonography, findings on surgical exploration, follow-up and surgical outcome.
Results: The median age at surgery was 6 years (range 1–36 years), 4 patients (13.3%) had orchidopexy before 2 years of age, 6 (20%) before 5 years and 4 (13.3%) after 18 years of age. The UDT was on the right side in 56.7%, on the left side in 26.7%, bilateral in 16.7%, in the inguinal region in 70% and in the abdomen in 30%. An associated malformation was found in 53.5% of patients: a hernia sac in 13 (43.3%), hypospadias in 2 (6.7%) and a hydrocele in 1 (3.3%). The UDT was detected by the parents in 13 cases (43.3%), by the patient himself in 9 (30%) and by health care staff in 8 cases (26.7%). Only 10 parents (33.3%) received advice from health care staff: 6 were advised for surgery and 4 were advised to await spontaneous descent. Preoperative ultrasonography was false negative in 56% of cases. Orchidopexy was performed in 28 (93.3%) patients (the testis was secured in the scrotum in 23 and in the high inguino-scrotal position in 5), and 2 (6.7%) underwent orchidectomy. At 3-month follow-up the testes were situated in the scrotum (not retracted) in 25 patients (3 were lost to follow-up).
Conclusions: The late presentation detected in this study is alarming, because the majority of patients were diagnosed and treated after 2 years of age. The role of ultrasound in diagnosis of UDT is limited. Health care workers should perform neonatal examination to detect UDT and inform parents that early correction of UDT will decrease the risk of infertility and facilitate future examination to detect the development of testicular malignancy.