Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Some of the risks for an orchiectomy done under general anesthesia are the same as for other procedures. They include deep venous thrombosis, heart or breathing problems, bleeding, infection, or reaction to the anesthesia. If the patient is having...
epidural anesthesia, the risks include bleeding into the spinal canal, nerve damage, or a spinal headache.
Specific risks associated with an orchiectomy include:
- loss of sexual desire (This side effect can be treated with hormone injections or gel preparations.)
- hot flashes similar to those in menopausal women, controllable by medication
- weight gain of 10â€“15 lb (4.5â€“6.8 kg)
- mood swings or depression
- enlargement and tenderness in the breasts
- loss of sensation in the groin or the genitals
- osteoporosis (Men who are taking hormone treatments for prostate cancer are at greater risk of osteoporosis.)
An additional risk specific to cancer patients is recurrence of the cancer.
Inguinal orchiectomy is a relatively minor surgical procedure to remove a testicle. The procedure is generally performed by a urologist. Often it is performed as same-day surgery, with the patient returning home within hours of the procedure. Some patients elect to have a prosthetic testicle inserted into their scrotum.
A 6cm incision is made above the pubic bone on the side corresponding to the testicle to be removed. The testicle is then pulled up through the inguinal canal, the spermatic cord is clamped off in two places and cut between the clamps.
The inguinal orchiectomy is a necessary procedure if testicular cancer is suspected.
If the orchiectomy is performed to diagnose cancer, the testicle and spermatic cord are then sent to a pathologist to determine the makeup of the tumor, and the extent of spread within the testicle and cord.
The pathology report, along with pre-surgical imaging studies and tumor markers, will determine the course of treatment.
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