Laparoscopic Fowler-Stephens orchiopexy for the high abdominal testis

Bruce W. Lindgren*, Israel Franco, Shawn Blick, Selwyn B. Levitt, William A. Brock, Lane S. Palmer, Steven C. Friedman, Edward F. Reda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Purpose: Laparoscopic orchiopexy is extremely effective for treating patients with nonpalpable testis. However, despite the high dissection and wide mobilization it allows in some cases, vessel length prevents the testis from reaching the scrotum. There have been only incidental cases reported in which laparoscopy has been used for vessel transection and testicular mobilization orchiopexy. We reviewed our cases treated with the Fowler- Stephens orchiopexy performed laparoscopically in 1 or 2 stages. Materials and Methods: We reviewed the records of all boys who underwent laparoscopy for a nonpalpable testis at our institutions since 1992. Patients who underwent testicular vessel transection and orchiopexy performed laparoscopically in 1 or 2 stages were selected for evaluation. Office charts and operative reports were reviewed in detail. Results: Of the 126 nonpalpable testes in 108 patients 51 (40%) were intra-abdominal, including 18 (35%) in 14 patients in whom the Fowler-Stephens procedure was performed laparoscopically. Five testes were treated with a 2-stage procedure, while 11 were managed by laparoscopic mobilization followed by laparoscopic vessel clipping and orchiopexy in 1 stage. In 2 additional patients nearly all dissection was performed laparoscopically but due to extenuating circumstances inguinal incision was required as well. Thus, 13 testes were managed by 1-stage Fowler-Stephens orchiopexy, including all cases since August 1996 which required vessel transection. Two patients were hospitalized postoperatively for prolonged ileus after the second stage. All other 2-stage and all 1-stage cases were managed on an outpatient basis. There were no complications. At a mean followup of 6 months all cases without previous surgery that were managed by laparoscopic orchiopexy are without atrophy and the testes are in a scrotal position. Two testes in which previous surgery had been done atrophied postoperatively. Conclusions: Laparoscopic transection of the testicular vessels is safe in boys with high abdominal testes that do not reach the scrotum after laparoscopic high retroperitoneal dissection. The magnification and wide mobilization of laparoscopy likely allow better preservation of the collateral vascular supply than open exploration. Previous surgery is a risk factor for atrophy. The success rate of 89% overall and 100% in patients who did not previously undergo testicular surgery equals or exceeds that of open orchiopexy in patients with abdominal testes. The 1-stage procedure avoids repeat anesthesia and the extensive, sometimes tedious, dissection that is occasionally required during reoperation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-993
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3 II
StatePublished - Sep 1999


  • Abnormalities
  • Eryptorchidism
  • Laparoscopic surgical procedure
  • Testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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