Changing Trends in the Referral and Timing of Treatment for Congenital Cryptorchidism: A Single-Center Experience from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Cryptorchidism is the most common male urogenital tract disorder identified at birth. Treatment delays of cryptorchidism may be associated with significant complications such as subfertility and testicular cancer. The currently recommended age for performing orchidopexy is between 6 and 12 months of age and no later than 18 months. The aim of this study was to investigate the trends in the pattern of referral and age of boys at the time of operative treatment of congenital cryptorchidism at the largest tertiary care center in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The study included all boys who underwent orchidopexy for congenital cryptorchidism during two equivalents periods: 2008-2010 and 2015-2017. We assessed the referral age of patients, the age of patients at the time of orchidopexy, laterality of cryptorchidism, position of cryptorchidic testes palpated before surgery, the intraoperative position of cryptorchidic testis, a clinical position of the testis at follow up, and risk factors for late orchidopexy. In total, 324 patients with 386 testes underwent orchidopexy for congenital cryptorchidism during the study periods. Of these patients, 62 received a bilateral orchidopexy (19.1%). Total referral age of patients with congenital cryptorchidism was 23 months (range, 4-74.5 months). Total median age at surgery was 24 months (range, 6-74 months). One hundred and eleven patients (28.8%) underwent surgery at less than the age of 12 months, 136 (35.2%) at less than the age of 18 months, and 250 (64.8%) patients underwent surgery after the age of 18 months. The analysis of the observed two periods (2008-2010 and 2015-2017) showed a statistically significant decrease in the mean referral age and the mean age at surgery over the last 5 years (2015-2017) (p = 0.007 and p = 0.003, respectively). Current guidelines for timely operative treatment for congenital cryptorchidism have not been fully implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina but a gradual improvement is evident. The main factor contributing to delays in orchidopexy was delayed or neglected referral by referring physicians. Optimizing the time of orchidopexy will require an improved coordination at all levels of pediatric health care to diminish the long-term consequences of cryptorchidism. Retrospective. III.
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