Health Disparities in the Appropriate Management of Cryptorchidism

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Abstract

Objective

To assess regional practices in management of cryptorchidism with regard to timely fixation by the current recommended age of 18 months.

Study design

A retrospective study was performed. Charts of all patients who underwent surgical correction for cryptorchidism by a pediatric general surgeon or urologist within a tertiary pediatric hospital in an urban setting were systematically reviewed.

Results

We identified 1209 patients with cryptorchidism. The median age of surgical correction was 3.7 years (IQR: 1.4, 7.7); only 27% of patients had surgical correction before 18 months of age. Forty-six percent of our patients were white, 40% were African American, and 8% were Hispanic. African American and Hispanic patients were less likely to undergo timely repair (P = .01), as were those with public or no insurance (P < .0001). A majority (72%) of patients had no diagnostic imaging prior to surgery. A majority of patients had palpable testes at operation (85%) and underwent inguinal orchiopexy (76%); 82% were operated on by a pediatric urologist. Only 35 patients (3%) experienced a complication; those repaired late were significantly less likely to develop a complication (P = .03). There were no differences in age at time of surgery by surgeon type.

Conclusions

A majority of our patients were not referred for surgical intervention in a timely manner, which may reflect poor access to care in our region. Public and self-pay insurance status was associated with delayed repair. Education of community physicians and families could be potentially beneficial.

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