Some Urological disorders in childhood such as foreskin problems, undescended testicles and lumps in the scrotum can cause a great deal of concern, but often these conditions do not require immediate treatment.

Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves partial or complete removal of the foreskin of the penis. The first evidence of circumcision comes from early Egyptian wall paintings that are more than 5000 years old. Circumcision is most often carried out for religious reasons.

Sometimes, circumcision has to be carried out for medical reasons. This may be because the foreskin is damaged or infected and will not slide back over the head of the penis (phimosis). In some boys, the foreskin will not retract up to the age of 10 and, occasionally, it can continue into adulthood. However, in the majority of cases, the foreskin will loosen naturally, and circumcision is only required for medical reasons in about 1% of cases. If there is concern, a review and simple examination by a specialist can determine whether surgery is required.

Undescended Testicles occur when a testicle has not descended into the scrotum before birth. This is usually picked up during the routine examination performed on newborn babies. But occasionally it can be missed until later check-ups in infancy or childhood. Occasionally the testicle will descend after birth, but otherwise an operation will be required and this is usually a simple procedure performed in the groin carried out ideally before the boys second birthday (orchidopexy).

Lumps in the scrotum in infants are quite common in the newborn and can be due to a number of causes such as a fluid filled sac (hydrocoele) or a hernia. These require assessment by a specialist to find the diagnosis. Some problems may require surgery whereas others may resolve on their own.

These more common childhood problems are often dealt with by a general urological surgeon. Ipswich urology is able to provide advice on all aspects of paediatric (children's) urology. One of the consultants has specialist interest and experience in all of the procedures described.

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