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Types of Undescended Testicles

Undescended testicles are often classified according to their location and whether they can be felt (palpable or nonpalpable).

  • Abdominal or intra-abdominal: The testicle remains inside the abdomen and cannot be felt (is nonpalpable) during a physical exam. Often it will be located close to the inner opening of the inguinal canal.
  • Inguinal or intracanicular: The testicle stops in the inguinal canal and cannot be felt during a physical exam.
  • Prescrotal or prepubic: The testicle moves down through the inguinal canal but does not descend completely into the scrotum. It usually can be felt (is palpable) during a physical exam.
  • Ectopic: The testicle descends normally through the inguinal canal but then moves into an abnormal position in the groin area. It can be felt.

See a picture that shows the position of normal and undescended testicles .

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This information is provided as a resource and does not constitute an endorsement for any group. It is the responsibility of the reader to decide whether a group is appropriate for his/her needs. For evidence-based information on diseases, conditions, symptoms, treatment and wellness issues, continue searching this site.

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By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Anderson, MD, FRCS(C) - Pediatric Urology
Last Revised April 1, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 01, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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