Eur J Pediatr. 2023 Jan 9. doi: 10.1007/s00431-022-04769-1. Online ahead of print.
An undescended testis is the most common genitourinary disease in boys. The German guidelines, first published in 2009, proposed the timing of orchidopexy to be before 12 months of age. The aim of the study was to analyze the implementation of these guidelines 10 years after publication. The national cumulative statistics of hospital admissions, provided by the Institute for the Remuneration System in Hospitals (InEK), and the statistics concerning procedures performed in private pediatric surgical practices of the professional association of pediatric surgeons (BNKD) regarding the time of surgeries for the year 2019 were analyzed. Data from InEK included all German hospital admissions. Data from BNKD included data from 48 private pediatric surgical practices. The hospitals treated 6476 inpatients with undescended testis, and 3255 patients were operated in private practices. Regarding the age at treatment, 15% of the hospital patients and 5% of the private practice patients were younger than 1 year and fulfilled the guideline recommendations. Forty percent of the hospital patients and 29% of the private practice patients were 1 or 2 years of age. All other patients were 3 years of age or older at the time of orchidopexy. Conclusions: The rate of orchidopexy within the first 12 months of life is remarkably low even 10 years after the publication of the guidelines. Awareness of the existing guideline must be increased for both referring pediatric and general practitioners. What is Known: • In Germany, orchidopexy is performed by pediatric surgeons and urologists either in hospital settings or in private practices. • Most international guidelines set the age for surgical treatment of undescended testis between 12 and 18 months of age. The German guidelines, published in 2009, sets the time-limit at one year of age. Until five years after publication of the German guidelines, the number of patients treated before the first year of life was low; studies show an orchidopexy ratebetween 8% and 19% during this time. What is New: • This study the first to cover all administered hospital patients in Germany and a large group of patients treated in private practices. It contains the largest group of German patients with undescended testis. • Although almost all children participate in the routine check-up at the age of seven months, which includes investigation for undescended testis, adherence to the orchidopexy guidelines is still low. Only 15% of the hospital patients and 5% of the patients in private practice were treated before their first birthdays.