The procedure that involves the surgical removal of male sex organs is known as orchiectomy. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital and is usually performed to prevent testicular cancer cells from spreading to the rest of the body. The procedure may involve the removal of both testicles or one testis. Apart from testicular cancer, orchiectomy is also performed to treat male breast cancer in some cases.
Alternate Name of Orchiectomy
How is Orchiectomy performed?
The procedure will start by taping the penis to the abdominal region. Next, the site of the incision is sterilized including the surrounding skin. The surgeon makes a small cut either just above the pubic bone or on the scrotum (depending on the type of orchiectomy surgery). The testis or the testicles are then pushed up and removed through the surgical cut.
Clamps are put on the spermatic cords to prevent blood loss. The removed testicles may be replaced with silicone prosthetic testicles. The surgeon will then remove the clamps, disinfect the area, and stitch the cut with sutures. These stitches are removed in about a week.
Preparation for Orchiectomy
Before undergoing orchiectomy surgery, a healthcare expert will provide thorough instructions on preparing for the procedure.
- Patients must keep their doctor informed of any supplements or medications they are taking.
- In the hour leading to the treatment, patients may be advised to limit the intake of liquids and food.
- Some blood tests may be performed to ensure that the person is fit to undergo this surgical procedure and check for any other signs of cancer.
- Arrange for transportation home following the surgery as driving is not advised until the anaesthesia effects have completely subsided.
Orchiectomy Procedure type
The procedure normally takes an hour. Staples or stitches are used to close the cut and are removed in about a week. Patients may be instructed to put on scrotal support after the surgery. Cold compressions can help reduce swelling. The doctor may also advise not to take a bath or go swimming until the wound from the procedure heals. Avoid lifting anything heavy, doing sex, or doing strenuous exercises following a few days post-surgery. Use any medicines or ointments as prescribed by the doctor.
Risks For Orchiectomy Surgery
The majority of the orchiectomy surgery’s side effects are only transient. Following are the most common risks associated with it:
- Pain and discomfort- It may occur around the surgical site that can be dealt with medicines as prescribed by the doctor and should lessen over time.
- Pus formation- Some patients may notice pus formation at the incision site. It may also be accompanied by slight bleeding.
- Depression- Drop-in male hormones can cause depression and fatigue.
- Infertility- Removing both testicles will stop sperm production, making the patient infertile.
- Lack of sexual desires- The surgery may lead to a decrease in sexual interests. Erection and ejaculation will be adversely affected if both testicles are removed.
Hormone therapy may be required to compensate for the loss of testosterone. Although no sperm will be produced, sexual activity can be continued with the therapy. Patients should speak with their doctors about the potential risks or side effects of the procedure and how to mitigate them.
Recovery From Orchiectomy Surgery
An orchiectomy is a simple procedure with usually a quick recovery time. A full recovery from an orchiectomy can take anywhere between 2 weeks to a month. A person having the procedure done on an inpatient basis will be taken to a recovery room where he will be monitored by the nurse or doctor. Most likely, they will have to spend the night in the hospital. When the surgery is done as an outpatient procedure, the patient can leave for home after a few hours. They will, however, be required to come back for a follow-up appointment so that a healthcare practitioner may assess their progress.
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