Who we are
Andrology is the field of urology that deals with the testicles and their function. The Andrology Program at Boston Children's Hospital treats children from all over the world who have conditions such as undescended testicles, varicocele and hydrocele. We also evaluate and treat intersex conditions including ambiguous genitalia. Our expert physicians and surgeons employ the latest medical innovations to diagnose, treat and cure your child, informed by careful research.
So how does it work?
Once your child is referred to us for evaluation and treatment, you'll work hand in hand with your physician as you learn more about your child's condition and determine the next steps. Treatment may involve a surgical procedure, hormone replacement therapy or both. We then provide long-term follow up with our experienced staff to ensure that the treatment is working for your child.
- One recent study on testicular torsion in newborn babies done at Children's demonstrated the potential value of scrotal ultrasounds with Doppler imaging, which can help rule out other possible problems.
- New treatments employed by Children's for undescended testicles—such as minimally invasive robotic surgery-have revolutionized the management of this condition and improved success rates considerably.
- Children's physicians are adept at diagnosing and treating children born with ambiguous genitalia through a combination of hormone replacement therapy and surgery.
Children's has established the first prospective adolescent varicocele study in the country. A varicocele is a mass of enlarged and dilated veins in the testicle that essentially feels like a bag of worms. It is generally not harmful and usually not painful, but it can potentially reduce fertility. The goal of our study is to determine which boys may benefit from surgery for varicocele and which boys may do well with only observation. Our database of more than 300 boys has been a resource for our ongoing clinical research on varicocele.
Minimally invasive testicular surgery
About 3 percent of boys are born with undescended testicles, which can lead to an inability to produce healthy sperm. They also carry an increased risk of developing testicular tumors. Laparoscopy, a type of minimally invasive surgery, can help identify where the testicles are in the body and help move them to their proper location.