Torsion of the Appendix Testis in Your Teen: Care Instructions

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Piece of tissue attached to the testicle, with detail

Your Care Instructions

The appendix testis is a small piece of tissue attached to the testicle. It is left over from before birth. It's a normal part of the system that creates female organs. Since it isn't needed in boys, it may disappear. But in many boys, it remains attached.

It serves no purpose, but it can become twisted. The twisting (torsion) can cut off its blood supply, causing pain that ranges from mild to severe.

The pain usually gets better after a week or two. There is usually no treatment except to make your teen as comfortable as you can.

Follow-up care is a key part of your teen's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your teen is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your teen's test results and keep a list of the medicines your teen takes.

How can you care for your teen at home?

  • Have your teen stop, change, or take a break from any activity that causes pain or soreness. Your teen may not feel like being active for a few days.
  • Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and the skin.
  • Have your teen wear snug underwear or compression shorts. These help support the area. Your teen can use an athletic supporter if it helps relieve the pain.
  • Ask your doctor if you can give your teen acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your teen has severe or increasing pain.
  • Your teen notices a change in how his testicles look or are positioned in his scrotum.
  • Your teen notices new or worse swelling in his scrotum.
  • Your teen has symptoms of a urinary problem, such as a urinary tract infection. These may include:
    • Pain or burning when he urinates.
    • A frequent need to urinate without being able to pass much urine.
    • Pain in the flank, which is just below the rib cage and above the waist on either side of the back.
    • Blood in his urine.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your teen's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your teen does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.