A variety of clinical entities present as an empty scrotum.  By far, the most common is the retractile testis when the testis is pulled up into the inguinal canal by the cremasteric reflex.  Because the reflex is inactive prior to three months of life, the newborn period is a reliable time to diagnose the undescended testis (UDT).


With the child comforted and at ease, the physician’s hands are warmed and the child is examined in both supine and upright positions.  Normally, the testis can be manipulated into a low scrotal position without tension.  The retractile testis descends after puberty and surgery is unnecessary.


The ectopic testis is one which descended fully but is displaced into the thigh, perineum or dorsal penile area.  The testis is normal and should be surgically placed into the scrotum by orchidopexy.

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