Radical orchidectomy involves removal of the testis and spermatic cord through an incision in the groin. This approach is used whenever cancer is suspected, as it minimises the risk of tumour cells seeding surrounding tissue. A testicular prosthesis may also be placed at the time of surgery to restore the normal appearance.
Studies have shown that semen quality remains unchanged after orchidectomy. However, if chemotherapy will be required then sperm banking should be performed. This can occur after orchidectomy.
Before Your Surgery
Certain medications increase the risk of bleeding and need to be stopped prior to surgery. You should tell your surgeon about all prescription medicines, over the counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements that you are taking. Some patients, such as those with artificial heart valves or high blood clotting risk, will need to take blood-thinning injections whilst coming off their tablet medications.
After Your Surgery
- Some swelling and bruising to the scrotum is normal after this operation. This can persist for several weeks.
- Wound pain can usually be controlled with simple pain relief such as Panadeine and Nurofen. Take regular pain relief for the first week following your operation, then only as needed.
- You make take a shower 48 hours after the operation. You may gently wash the skin in the operative area with soap and dry by patting with a towel.
- It is important to wear firm supportive underwear for a few weeks after your procedure to help with swelling.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity including heavy work, sport and lifting for 4 weeks after your operation.
- For the first week after surgery, you may need to use a pillow to help with discomfort while sitting.
- You should not drive for one week.
- Sexual intercourse can be resumed when you feel comfortable.
Specific Risks and Side Effects
- Skin or wound infection.
- Bleeding causing gross swelling of the scrotum.
- Anaesthetic complications, such as heart attack or stroke.
- Infection, for example of the urinary tract, chest, or other sites.
- Clots forming in the legs (DVT), which may then pass to the lungs.
- Allergic reactions to drugs, antiseptics, or wound dressings.
When to contact your surgeon
- Pus or discharge from the wound, or if you developed a high fever.
- If you have severe wound pain not responding to tablet pain medications.