The two surgical procedures that are performed routinely in the treatment of germ cell malignancies are radical orchiectomy and retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Both procedures require a thorough knowledge of the anatomic areas involved, which include the testis itself, the scrotum, the inguinal canal, and the retroperitoneum. In addition, it is important to understand the development and descent of the testis in order to understand the nature of the vascular and lymphatic supply of the testis as the early spread of testicular cancer is via lymphatic pathways. For this reason, the embryologic development and migration of the testis will also be reviewed.
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