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Orchiectomy

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

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.

HOW TO PREPARE:

The week before your surgery:

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Because your testicles make sperm, you will be unable to have children naturally if both testicles are removed. If your sperm is healthy, you may be able to save a sample at a sperm bank. Ask your caregiver for more information about sperm banks.
  • You may need to take certain medicines before your surgery. If you have an infection, you may need to take antibiotics. In some cases, such as cancer, you may need to take antihormone medicine. Antihormone medicine helps block the production of testosterone in your body and may slow tumor growth.
  • You may need blood and urine tests. You may also need x-rays, a CT scan, MRI, or an ultrasound. Ask your caregiver for more information about these or other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.

The night before your surgery:

  • Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

Medicine called anesthesia will be given to keep you free from pain during your surgery. Your caregiver will make an incision in your scrotum. Your caregiver will tie and cut your spermatic cord. He will then remove your whole testicle, or only parts of it. Your caregiver may then do the same for your other testicle. 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. The bandage will help keep the area clean and dry, and protect it from infection. Your testicles and other removed tissues may be sent to the 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 be taken to your hospital room.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.
  • You get sick with a cold or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have severe pain in your testicles.

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.

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.

© 2015 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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