Saturday, February 1, 2014

Testicular Torsion: What Every Parent Should Know

Pain is not normal in the testes.

It can't wait.

If your boy has pain in his testes, take him to the Emergency Room right away, not to the doctor or to urgent care.

The Emergency Room has the ultrasound machine to diagnose testicular torsion, and the testes is at risk of dying if you do not act quickly.

In the uterus, the male child develops with his testes in the abdomen.

There is a length of thin tissue that connects the end of the scrotum with the testis. It is called the gubernaculum (goober-nack-u-lum). As the fetus grows, the tissue shortens, and the testis on each side travels through the inguinal canal to its resting place on each side of the scrotum.

In some boys, the connection between the gubernaculum/scrotum and the testes is not present after its final descent to the scrotum. This creates a testis that can move freely within the scrotum, just like this bell clapper freely moves inside this bell. In the human, the bell clapper testis can twist, and choke off its own blood supply, causing pain.

Any discomfort in a boy in the testes, or groin, or scrotum needs to be checked out; torsion doesn't always present with a much pain in the early stages when the twisted testicle is able to be saved.

When a boy who has a 'bell clapper' testicle experiences adolescence, the rapid growth of the testis makes them more at risk to develop testicular torsion. It can happen from infancy to adulthood, however, as well.

The ideal treatment is to have diagnosis and surgical correction (they do orchiopexy untwist and anchor, and also anchor the other side) within six hours.

That way you have a the best chance to look forward to this:

Aloha and Mahalos,

Reiki Doc

P.S. If the torsion is severe, the blood supply is lost, and the tissue in the testicle dies, it is removed. This is called and orchiectomy. At a later time, if you and your son desire a more cosmetic appearance, testicular implants exist that can be placed surgically.