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Factors which delay surgery for undescended testis in Ontario: a retrospective population based cohort study on timing of orchidopexy between 2006 and 2012

Dave S, Clark J, Chan EP, Richard L, Liu K, Wang PZT, Shariff S, Welk B. J Pediatr Urol. 2022; Jul 30 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI:

Background — Delays in performing orchidopexy (OP) for undescended testis (UDT) result in loss of germ cells. Despite practice guidelines recommending OP by 18 months of age, significant delays in OP occur. This delay may impact fertility and increase the risk of testicular malignancy in boys with UDT.

Objective — The objective of this study is to identify factors associated with delayed OP with the goal of identifying modifiable risk factors.

Study Design — A population-based, retrospective cohort study was conducted using linked databases held at ICES to evaluate factors associated with timing of OP in Ontario for 4,339 male newborns undergoing their first OP between 2006-2012. Primary outcome was delayed OP (>18 months). Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify patient, physician, and hospital risk factors for delayed OP.

Results — Median age at OP was 24 months, while median age at first surgical consult was 20 months (IQR 10-60 months). Older age at first surgical consult (>12 months vs. <9 months, OR 17.83) was identified as the primary risk factor for delayed OP, besides ICU hospitalization (OR 3.42), associated hypospadias (OR 2.30), higher hospital OP volume (OR 1.91), more healthcare visits in first year of life (OR 1.05), and older surgeon age (OR 1.02).

Discussion — Our findings support reports that OP is often performed past guideline recommendations. Interventions that result in earlier referral for UDT (<6 months) may result in timely OP. Limitations for this study include potential misclassification or missing data within the utilized databases.

Conclusion — The most important barrier to timely OP is delay in first surgical consultation. Aiming for an earlier referral through guideline modifications or education to referring providers may help achieve the goal of timely OP.