Orchiectomy is a surgery to remove one or both testicles.
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Reasons for Procedure
An orchiectomy may be done to treat:
- Prostate cancer that has spread
- Testicular cancer
- Testicular torsion —twisting of the spermatic cord that cuts off the blood supply
- Other problems such as testicular damage from trauma or infection
It can also be a diagnostic procedure to determine if cancer is present when a mass is found during ultrasound .
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Nerve injury or damage to surrounding tissue or structures
- Reaction to anesthesia
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
What to Expect
Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications such as:
- Increasing pain, discharge, redness, or swelling at the incision site
- Pus or odor from the incision site
- A lot of bleeding
- Stitches loosen or fall out
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
- A physical exam
- Imaging, blood, and urine tests
- Talk about anesthesia and the potential risks
Talk to the doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
Other things to keep in mind before the procedure:
- Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
- In most cases, you will need to avoid eating and drinking for 6-8 hours before the procedure. Ask your doctor when you should stop eating and drinking.
- Orchiectomy surgery. St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton website. Available at: http://www.stjoes.ca/patients-visitors/patient-education/patient-education-k-o/pd-6660-orchiectomy-surgery.pdf.
- Testicular cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T907377/Testicular-cancer.
- Testicular cancer treatments: the inguinal orchiectomy. Testicular Cancer Resource Center website. Available at: http://tcrc.acor.org/orch.html.
- Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.
- EBSCO Medical Review Board
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