In the last 30 years at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, 10 boys have undergone hemiscrotectomy for primary testicular tumors or paratesticular rhabdomyosarcoma. Indications for this procedure were scrotal contamination and positive or uncertain surgical margins. Residual tumor was found in only one specimen. There were four complications in the study group. Two patients had complications directly attributable to the hemiscrotectomy, and in one patient this caused a delay in treatment. Preoperative imaging was performed in three patients. This has not been helpful in evaluating residual masses and is not indicated. Based on the authors' experience and a review of the literature, there are a number of indications for hemiscrotectomy in the management of genitourinary tumors in children. Controversies regarding some of these indications should be discussed with the families of these patients during preoperative counseling. © 1995.