Orchiectomy means “removal of a testicle”. In most cases, the indication will be for a presumed diagnosis of testicular cancer, and is consequently referred to as a radical orchidectomy. In this operation, we remove the testicle and the majority of the spermatic cord through an incision in the groin. The spermatic cord contains the blood supply (arteries and veins), nerves, lymphatic vessels, and the vas deferens (the spaghetti-like structure that transports sperm from the testicle to the urethra).
Please refer to the detailed literature provided by the rooms. This information is also available on the website. Please withhold any blood thinning medications (e.g. aspirin) for 1 week before the procedure.
The procedure can take anywhere up to an hour. In a radical orchidectomy, an incision is made in the groin region. We then bring the testicle and cord out of the scrotal sac and up to the region of the incision. Next, the end of the cord structures are all sewn tight and the cord is divided. The specimen is removed and sent to the pathologists (doctors who look at tissue under a microscope) for further examination. Local anaesthetic is then injected into the wound to reduce postoperative pain. Once the testicle is removed, we may insert a silicone prosthesis as a replacement for the testicle for cosmetic reasons. This option will be discussed with you prior to the operation.
Most patients will be discharged on the day of surgery. There will be a small band-aid like dressing over the incision.
You may shower the day after surgery, but no baths or swimming (unless otherwise instructed).
We ask that you refrain from any strenuous activity until your follow up. Every patient has some degree of swelling and bruising, and it is not possible to predict in whom this might be minimal or significant. We strongly encourage you to take the following day off of work and perhaps more if your occupation requires strenuous activity or heavy lifting. The sutures we use are usually self-dissolving, and therefore just fall out on their own within 1-3 weeks after surgery.
Possible Complications of the Procedure
The vast majority of patients will not experience any problem after an orchidecomy. However, any procedure, regardless of complexity or time, can be associated with unforeseen problems. They may be immediate or even quite delayed in presentation. These may include, but are not limited to:
Infection is possible in any procedure. Usually, local wound care and antibiotics are sufficient. Occasionally, an infection would require drainage of the wound.
This is when a small blood vessel continues to ooze or bleed after the procedure is over. The result is greater swelling and bruising than usual. It almost always resolves over time. Only rarely is a second procedure required to remove a blot clot.
There are small nerves that run inside or directly alongside the spermatic cord. After orchidectomy it is possible to have areas of numbness on the scrotal sac or inner thigh area. Over time, the sensation usually returns. Less commonly, the area may stay numb permanently.
Please contact the office within 3 days of discharge. You should make an appointment to see Dr Sved as directed in the hospital. You may see him in his offices at RPA, Bankstown or Strathfield Private Hospital. Do not hesitate to call at any time if you have any concerns.