Dr Vasudevan has recommended that you have a radical orchidectomy. This document gives you information on what to expect before, during and after the operation. If there are questions that this document does not answer, please ask Dr Vasudevan.
What Is A Radical Orchidectomy?
A radical orchidectomy is an operation to remove one or both testicles.
Why Do I Need A Radical Orchidectomy?
In the event you are diagnosed to have testicular cancer, removing the affected testicle will give an indication as to what type of testicular cancer it is. This information will be useful in guiding further treatment if required. Also if the cancer is diagnosed early, removal of the testicle can be curative.
What Happens In The Pre-Operative Consultation?
Dr Vasudevan will arrange a date for your surgery. You would have already had the necessary blood tests and imaging to diagnose the cancer. If you are planning to have children in the future it is recommended that you store or “bank” your sperm prior to your surgery. Once you have recovered from the surgery and any subsequent treatment completed, your stored sperm can be used if required in artificial reproductive techniques such as IVF. If you would like to store your sperm Dr Vasudevan will refer you to the appropriate place to do so.
What Should I Do About My Medication?
Please inform Dr Vasudevan of all the medications that you are on in the pre-operative consultation. If you are taking some blood thinning medications they may need to be stopped prior to surgery. He can advise you appropriately.
What Can I Do To Make The Operation A Success?
If you smoke, stopping smoking several weeks or more before the operation may reduce your risk of developing complications and will improve your long-term health. Try to maintain a healthy weight. You have a higher risk of developing complications if you are overweight. Regular exercise should help to prepare you for the operation, help you to recover and improve your long-term health.
What Does The Operation Involve?
The healthcare team will carry out a number of checks to make sure you have the operation you came in for. You can help by confirming to Dr Vasudevan and the healthcare team your name and the operation you are having.
Also, prior to being taken into the operating theatre and with you fully awake, Dr Vasudevan will confirm with you and mark the testicle to be removed with a permanent marker. Once this critical step is complete you will be taken into the operating theatre.
Once in the operating theatre you will be given a general anaesthetic, so that you will not be aware of anything whilst the operation is being performed. The anaesthetist will discuss this with you.
A small cut will be made in the groin of the relevant testicle. The involved testis and associated blood vessels are delivered to the incision from the scrotum. The blood supply to the testis is tied off. Once this is done the testis is removed and sent for analysis. The surgical cut is then closed with dissolving stiches. The procedure will take about 30 minutes.
What Can I Expect After The Operation Is Completed?
You will wake up in the recovery area in your bed. When the nurses in the recovery area are happy with your condition a nurse from the ward will take you back to the ward.
Once you are in the ward and fully alert you can eat and drink as per normal. You will be given pain killers if you require it.
Once you are mobile the following day, you will be discharged home.
What Are The Possible Complications Of A Radical Orchidectomy?
Dr Vasudevan will try to make the operation as safe as possible but sometimes complications can happen.
The possible complications include:
The anaesthetist will discuss this with you.
It is very rare for excessive bleeding to occur during the operation. It is even more rare to require a blood transfusion during the surgery. Bleeding may occur on completion of the surgery. If the bleeding is minor, simple pain relief may be adequate. If however, the post-operative bleeding is excessive a return to the operating theatre is required to control the bleeding area.
infection to the surgical incision can occur in about 5% of cases. The wound may appear red and feel tender. Also a discharge may be present. If this occurs please contact Dr Vasudevan and antibiotics will be prescribed.
Damage to ilioinguinal nerve
This is a nerve that supplies sensation to the groin, inner aspect of your thigh and scrotum. If this nerve is bruised rather than damaged the sensation will return in a few weeks. If however the nerve is damaged permanent numbness to the described area is possible.
This is where a part of the abdominal contents protrudes through a weak spot in the groin region. The overlying skin is intact. This complication may occur many weeks or months later. If the hernia is uncomfortable surgical correction is required.
How Soon Will I Recover?
You should be able to do simple non-strenuous activities once you reach home. It is recommended that you avoid heavy lifting and other vigorous activities such as riding a bicycle and playing sport for about 4 weeks.
Follow-Up Appointment With Dr Vasudevan
Once you are discharged from hospital please call my office to arrange a follow-up appointment with me for about 3 weeks after your surgery. At this appointment I will discuss the pathology result of your testis specimen, assess the wound and if further treatment is required arrange the appropriate referral to the oncology specialist.