Orchiectomy is a surgical procedure in which one or both testicles are removed. This is done to treat or prevent prostate cancer from spreading in the body. An orchiectomy can test or prevent testicle cancer and breast cancer in man too.
Orchiectomy (also named “orchidectomy”, and sometimes shortened as “orchi”) is a form of castration. Orchiectomy is also a gender transitioning procedure for trans-women, before sexual reassignment surgery (SARS)
Types Of Orchiectomy Procedure
There are different types of orchi procedures depending on the conditions of the person or the purpose of the surgery, they include:
- Simple orchiectomy
- Subcapsular orchiectomy
- Inguinal or radical orchiectomy
- Bilateral orchiectomy
Reasons For Orchiectomy
An orchiectomy is performed for many reasons including:
- To treat or prevent the spreading of prostate cancer
- To treat/prevent testicle cancer and breast cancer in men
- To prevent testicle torsion
- Severe trauma to the testicle
- Transitioning to the female gender
The doctor may recommend orchiectomy if:
- You are in the general good health
- The cancer cells have not spread beyond your testicles or your prostate gland
- You are transitioning from male to female and want to reduce your testosterone product.
- You are treated for breast cancer or prostate cancer
Before the surgery,
You should consult with your doctor and discuss your expectations and concerns. Your doctor will look through your medical history and perform a physical examination to figure out if you are physically and mentally fit for the procedure. A blood sample is taken and tested to know the state of health and for any indicators of cancer.
If eligible, you will be advised to stop smoking (if you do) for at least 2 months and to avoid blood-thinners and NSAIDs for 2 to 3 weeks at most. Also, you will need to have the assistance of a family or friend to help you around till you recover.
During the surgery,
- Anesthesia is used to check pains. Your doctor will determine which type of anesthesia is suitable
- The surgeon will lift your penis and tape it to your abdomen
- He/she makes an incision either on your scrotum or the area right above your pubic bone on the lower abdomen.
- He/she then cut out one or both testicles from the surrounding tissues and vessels, and remove them through the incision.
- The surgeon then uses clamps to prevent your spermatic cords from losing blood.
- He then replaces the removed testicles with a prosthetic testicle
- A clean-up is done by cleaning the area with a saline solution
- Finally, the surgeon will sew the incision to close up the opened area.
After the surgery,
You will be mover to your recovery room to recuperate and painkillers will be administered to numb the pains. You are required to stay in the hospital for at least a week so your healing progress can be monitored.
Orchiectomy surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes 1 to 2 hours to perform. It can take 2 weeks to 2 months to recover from an orchiectomy.
For the first two weeks, don’t lift any weight over 10 pounds or have sex until the incisor has fully healed. For 4 weeks after the surgery, avoid exercise of any kind sports, and running.
You need to adhere strictly to these post-surgery medical instructions for the first week after an orchiectomy.
- The first 48 hours after the surgery (if instructed by your doctor or nurse), wear scrotal support.
- Use ice to reduce swelling in your scrotum or around the incision.
- Keep your incision area dry and covered in gauze for the first few days.
- Use an ointment or creams following your surgeon’s instruction.
- Wash the area gently with a mild soap while bathing.
- Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain.
- Avoid straining during a bowel movement. Eat high fiber foods and drink a lot of water to ease bowel movements. Taking a stool softener also can help bowel movements.
Please your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects:
- Pain and/or redness around the incision
- Fever over 100 f (37.8c)
- Urinating difficulty
- Pus or bleeding from the incision
- Blood is the scrotum (usually looks like a large purple spot)
- Insensitivity around your scrotum.
Other long term side effect, which you must see your doctor, includes:
- Hot fleshes
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of fertility
- Feeling depressed
- Osteoporosis (weakness of bones)
The cost to perform an orchiectomy depends on the type, procedure, surgeon, hospital, and country, etc.
In the U.S, the price ranges from $5,000 to $18,000. However, in other countries like India, Turkey, Thailand, Dubai, etc, orchiectomy cost is way lesser with up to 60% saving cost.
- Is orchiectomy a major surgery?
An orchiectomy is an outpatient surgery that takes a shorter time to fully recover from this much less risky than hormone therapy for the treatment of prostate or testicular cancer.
- What is the recovery time for orchiectomy?
You can resume your regular activities within 1 to 2 weeks, and a full recovery may be exposed within 2 to 4 weeks, orchiectomy is an outpatient procedure surgery or may attract a short hospital stay.
- Can you get an erection without testicles?
Having one testicle can still enable you to get an erection and have sex. If both testicles are removed, your body won’t be able to make sperm.
- What is an orchiectomy procedure?
An orchiectomy is a surgery in which one or two testicles are removed, the testicles are male reproductive organs that produce sperm that continues in a sec, called the scrotum.
- Does losing a testicle affect hormones?
Having a unilateral orchiectomy (removal of one testicle) should not affect the overall circulating testosterone level in the body if the remaining testicle is healthy because it can produce enough testosterone to make up for any deficit (other health condition removing normal).