Orchiectomy

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Orchiectomy (Inpatient Care) Care Guide

Orchiectomy, also called orchidectomy, is surgery to remove one or both of your testicles. Your testicles are egg-shaped organs that lie inside your scrotum. They are supported by your spermatic cord.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • You may bleed more than expected during surgery or get an infection. Blood may pool inside your scrotum. Your scrotum may swell and become painful after your surgery. If you have both testicles removed, you may have symptoms of decreased male hormone levels. Low male hormone levels may cause decreased sexual desire, erection problems, a smaller penis, and enlarged breasts. You may have weight gain, hot flashes, a dry mouth, and mood changes. Your bones may become weak, and you may have decreased muscle mass. Decreased male hormones may also make you unable to get your female partner pregnant.

  • You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. Without surgery, your condition may worsen. If you have cancer or an infection, it may spread to other parts of your body. If you have a severe injury in your testicles, it may cause damage to nearby nerves and tissues.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

  • Tests:

    • Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.

    • Urine sample: A sample of your urine is collected and sent to a lab for tests.

  • Pre-op care: You may be given medicine right before your surgery. This medicine may make you feel relaxed and sleepy.

    • Anesthesia: This is medicine that will help keep you comfortable during your surgery. You may have any of the following:

      • Local anesthesia: This is medicine that is given as a shot into your skin. It is used to numb the surgery area and dull your pain.

      • Spinal or epidural anesthesia: This is medicine put into your back to numb you below the waist. With spinal anesthesia, the medicine is given through an injection. Feeling normally returns in about 2 hours. Epidural anesthesia is put into your back through a tiny tube. After epidural anesthesia, feeling returns to your legs when the medicine wears off.

      • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.

    • Monitoring:

      • Heart monitor: This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.

      • Pulse oximeter: A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine. Never turn the pulse oximeter or alarm off. An alarm will sound if your oxygen level is low or cannot be read.

During your surgery:

  • Your caregiver will make an incision in your scrotum. He ties your spermatic cord and cuts it just above your testicle. He may remove your whole testicle, or only parts of it. A prosthetic (man-made) testicle may be put inside your scrotum. This allows your scrotum to look normal from the outside.

  • A drain may be placed inside your skin to remove fluid from around your incision. Your incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage. This will help keep the area clean and dry, and protect it from infection. If only one of your testicles is removed, your caregiver may do a biopsy on the remaining testicle. A biopsy is done by taking cells out through a needle. Your testicles and other removed tissues may be sent to a lab for tests.

After your surgery:

You may need to wear a jock strap for support after your surgery. You will be taken to a room where you will rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When caregivers see that you are okay, you may be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will then be taken to your hospital room.

  • Ice: Caregivers may instruct you to apply ice to your incision. Ice will help to decrease pain and swelling.

  • Medicines:

    • Antihormone medicine: Antihormone medicine helps block the production of testosterone in your body and may slow tumor growth.

    • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

  • Vital signs: Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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