A laparoscopic cryptorchid castration is a minimally invasive alternative to a traditional open surgical approach for removing a retained testicle. At birth, both testicles in a dog and cat are located with in the abdomen. The testicles should descend into the scrotum within the first three months of life. Cryptorchidism, is a condition where either one or both of the testicles do not descend into the scrotum and are “retained” with the abdomen or inguinal region. Retained testicles are at an increased risk for developing cancer. With a laparoscopic procedure smaller incisions are used to visualize and remove the retained testicle, in contrast to a traditional surgical procedure where a larger incision may be required.

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Why it’s done

Your veterinarian may recommend a laparoscopic cryptorchid castration if:

  • You have a preference for a minimally invasive surgical option for your pet’s sterilization.

How to prepare for your pet’s procedure

Before your pet’s laparoscopic cryptorchid castration, you will meet with one of our specialists to talk about the procedure and what to expect.

When you meet with our team, please bring a list of all medications that your pet is currently taking, including over the counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Before your pet’s procedure, you may be asked to discontinue giving certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding.

This is a good time to ask questions about the procedure and make sure you understand the risks and benefits.

Preoperative diagnostics and tests

Before your pet’s procedure the following may be indicated:

  • Comprehensive blood panel

General Instructions for the Day of Surgery

  • Give your pet nothing by mouth after midnight the night before. This means that all food and water should be withheld.
  • Please arrive for pet’s admission promptly at your scheduled arrival time.
  • You will be asked to sign both a Surgical Consent Form as well as an Estimate, indicating your understanding of the procedure, risks, and associated costs.

What happens during a laparoscopic cryptorchid castration procedure?

Your pet will be given a general anesthetic. Special instruments, including a camera, are passed through small ½”-1” incisions into the abdomen. The specialists can visualize the retained testicle and remove it. The small incisions are closed with stitches.


Complications associated with a laparoscopic cryptorchid castration are rare when appropriate preoperative testing has occurred, but can include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Infection

After the procedure

  • Following the procedure, you will be given a phone call with an update on your pet’s recovery. A scheduled discharge will be coordinated at that time.
  • Please remove the bandage from your pet’s intravenous catheter site 10 to 15 minutes after arriving home.
  • Some abdominal tenderness is common for 3-5 days following laparoscopic surgery.
  • It is important to restrict your pet’s activity for the next 3-5 days while the incision is healing. Walks should be short and your pet should always be on a leash. Please do not let your pet rough house with other animals during this time.
  • Many patients will not eat the night following anesthesia. If your pet has not eaten after 24 hours of returning home, please call Salt River.
  • Some patients will vomit or have diarrhea following anesthesia. If the vomiting or diarrhea persists more than 24 hours, please call Salt River. In contrast, some patients may be constipated or may not have a bowel movement for up to 72 hours following anesthesia. If your pet is straining to defecate after 72 hours, please call Salt River.
  • Suture removal is generally not necessary, as dissolving stitches will often be placed.
  • Please monitor the incision for any signs of heat, pain, swelling, or discharge. Should you notice any of these signs, it may be an indication of infection. Please call Salt River if you notice a problem.
  • Licking or scratching at the incision will dramatically increase the chances of an infection or that the incision will open up. To prevent this from happening, please watch your pet closely for scratching or licking at the incision. If this occurs, an e-collar should be placed.

Follow up

Follow up is usually not needed.