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may be born with one or both testicles not yet dropped from the abdomen into
the scrotal sac. If the testis can be seen or felt in the inguinal (groin) area,
there is a good chance it may descend on its own during the first year of life.
If it does not descend by then, and it is detectable, it will require a careful
procedure to bring it to a position in the scrotum where it can develop normally.
Every boy suspected of having an undescended testis should be evaluated by an
experienced pediatric surgeon to be sure it is not a "retractile testis". A
"retractile testis" is one that has actually dropped into the scrotum during
development, but is pulled up into the groin by a hyperactive muscle. Most boys
with a "retractile testis" do not require surgery. When the scrotum is empty
and a testis cannot be felt in the groin, a laparoscopic procedure may be necessary
to find it and begin to bring it to a normal position. Most physicians agree
that undescended testes should be brought into normal position by 18 months
of age to assure optimal future sperm production.