Cryptorchid testicles are those
that do not descend like a normal testicle into the scrotum. When the foal
is developing in the uterus the testicle starts its decent from an area just
behind the kidney and ends in the scrotum at or shortly after birth. The
gubernaculum, the fetal structure responsible for pulling the testis into
the scrotum, then turns into connective tissue ligaments in the adult
stallion. In theory, a non-descended testicle can be located anywhere
between the kidney and the scrotum although most are located in the inguinal
canal or just inside the abdominal wall. The surgical procedure is very
similar to that described for
What is Laparoscopic
This technique is a minimally
invasive approach to remove a cryptorchid testicle. The approach is made
either with the horse standing in stocks or under general anesthesia. I
prefer to make the approach in the standing horse.
Why choose Laparoscopy?
In my experience the most common
scenario that leads people to choose Laparoscopic Cryptorchidectomy is
failure of their veterinarian to find a retained testicle during a standard
approach. The laparoscope allows the surgeon a minimally invasive method to
examine the internal structures associated with the testicle (e.g. vascular
pedicle and ductus deferens), locate the testicle, and remove it.
Some clients prefer this
approach to avoid the use of general anesthesia on their horses. If the
horse is halter broke and has some ground manners this technique works
nicely. If the other testicle has descended normally it is removed using a
standing technique for castration.
Are there any drawbacks?
The post-operative prognosis
with Laparoscopic Cryptorchidectomy is excellent.
If the testicle is not located
in the abdomen (e.g. itís in the inguinal canal) removal with the
laparoscope can be challenging. If this occurs and the testicle is not
easily retracted back into the abdomen, the horse is anesthetized with a
short acting injectable agent and castrated in a similar fashion to a normal