Testicular Cancer

Side effects of surgery (orchidectomy)

An orchidectomy (removal of a testicle) is usually quite straightforward. It may be done as a day case, but men usually stay in hospital overnight. Some of the men interviewed here experienced relatively little discomfort after their operation, though others had pain or discomfort for a few weeks (see 'Orchidectomy').

A few of the men had minor complications after surgery. One man was playing around with his children on a bouncy castle, just two days after the operation, and as the result of this activity one end of his scar opened up a little.

Some men reported that the scar in their groin area had been tender for a while after surgery. One man said that his scar was still tender, six months after his operation.

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Another man said that his scar had been tender after surgery, but he stressed that the area from the scar to the scrotum, where the doctors had extracted the testicle, had been completely numb for a while. He said that feeling in that area still hadn't completely returned. Another man said that he was still numb in that area 16 years after the operation, and another wished that he had been warned that this might happen.

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One man said that his scar bled on and off for a couple of weeks, and others said that they had suffered painful wound infections which cleared up with antibiotics. One man recalled that he had a stitch abscess, and another said that he had a stitch that didn't dissolve properly, which caused him some minor irritation.

One man told us that he had had quite a bit of internal bleeding, and he reported that his scrotum had been very swollen after the operation, and that he was bruised right down to his knee. He mentioned that for a while he had had an area of numbness on the outside of his upper leg. He explained that this was where the doctors had attached some electrodes to try to reduce the amount of blood loss during surgery.

Another man recalled that he had developed a haematoma (a swelling full of blood), and he said that he had to stay in hospital for about two weeks, which is much longer than normal.

The loss of a testicle can affect men's self-image and sense of masculinity, at least for a while (see 'Masculinity and self-image').

Last reviewed December 2017.
Last updated December 2017.



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