Orchiectomy (say "or-kee-EK-tuh-mee") is surgery to remove one or both of your testicles. It is often done to treat cancer in the prostate or testicle.
For prostate cancer, the doctor makes a cut in the scrotum. This cut is called an incision. Both testicles are removed through the cut. Then the doctor closes the cut with stitches.
For testicular cancer, the doctor makes a cut in the lower belly. He or she pushes the testicle up into the pelvic area and through the cut in the belly. Then the cut is closed with stitches.
You should be able to do most of your normal activities after 2 to 3 weeks. But you will not be able to do anything that requires your body to work hard. It's important not to strain with bowel movements or to lift heavy things.
You will probably need to take 2 to 3 weeks off from work. It depends on the type of work you do and how you feel.
With one testicle, you can still get an erection or father a child. But if both testicles are removed, you will not be able to father a child. And you may have problems getting an erection.
It is common to feel sad or depressed after this surgery. You may have concerns about body image and sex. Ask your doctor about support groups or other resources that can help.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your surgery.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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