Testes Cancer

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Orchiectomy FAQ

Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Your Testes Surgery

(Radical Orchiectomy)

 

How long does the operation take?
Surgery itself usually lasts less than one hour. After the operation, you will spend some time in the recovery room making sure you can tolerate drinking liquids and being able to urinate. It generally takes four to five hours from the time you leave the pre-op area before surgery until you will be ready to go home.

 

What is involved with the operation?
The operation is designed to remove the affected testes. An incision is made in the lower abdomen (similar to the incision made for hernia surgery) in order to prevent additional cancer cell spread. The entire testes and “cord” (the attachments to the abdomen) are removed. The scrotum and scrotal skin are left alone. Some men prefer to have a prosthetic testes placed during the operation. We recommend that you speak with your surgeon if this is a possible interest.

 

How long will I be in the recovery room after surgery is done?
Generally, you will be in the recovery room for two hours.

 

What are the potential complications of this surgery?
All surgical procedures have inherent risks. Obviously, we would not perform your operation if we felt that the risks of surgery out-weighed the benefits. During your initial meeting and consultation, we will discuss the potential complications of bleeding, infection, injury to surrounding tissues, the need for further treatment, blood clots, and the risks of anesthesia (heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and death).

 

What can I do before surgery to be optimally prepared?
It is important to refrain from aspirin or aspirin-like compounds (i.e. Motrin™, Advil™, ibuprofen) for at least one week before surgery.

 

What medications will I need when I go home?
At time of discharge, you will be given prescriptions for pain medications and stool softeners, if necessary.

You will go home with an ice pack over your scrotum and an athletic supporter (“jock strap’). This is to keep pressure on the scrotum to avoid bleeding (a “hematoma”).

 

What limitations will I have after I go home?
Most people recover quite rapidly from their testes surgery. To avoid untoward bleeding, it is vital that you remain pretty immobile for two or three days. For these few days, the patient should avoid as much physical activity as possible and keep wearing the ice pack and athletic supporter. Most men begin working after only a week or two. Nonetheless, because recovery can be variable, you should forewarn your employer that you will be absent from your job for six weeks after surgery. Even if you go back to work, for six weeks after the operation you should refrain from vigorous exercise and lift no more than ten pounds at a time.

 

Deciding When to Schedule Your Orchiectomy
Testes tumors grow quickly and it is advisable to have the Orchiectomy as soon as possible after an abnormality (such as a mass in the testes) is discovered.

 

Hospital stay
Surgery is outpatient. You should return home after the surgery.

 

Time off work
Most people recover quite rapidly from their testes surgery. To avoid untoward bleeding, it is vital that you remain pretty immobile for two or three days. For these few days, the patient should avoid as much physical activity as possible and keep wearing the ice pack and athletic supporter. Most men begin working after only a week or two. Nonetheless, because recovery can be variable, you should forewarn your employer that you will be absent from your job for six weeks after surgery. Even if you go back to work, for six weeks after the operation you should refrain from vigorous exercise and lift no more than ten pounds at a time.


Preparations for surgery
Several days before your surgery, you will need to meet with the anesthesiologists. There is no need to donate blood. When you decide to have surgery and sign the consent forms, you will be given full instructions as to where to present yourself the day of surgery.

 

Limitations after surgery
Most people recover quite rapidly from their testes surgery. To avoid untoward bleeding, it is vital that you remain pretty immobile for two or three days. For these few days, the patient should avoid as much physical activity as possible and keep wearing the ice pack and athletic supporter. Most men begin working after only a week or two. Nonetheless, because recovery can be variable, you should forewarn your employer that you will be absent from your job for six weeks after surgery. Even if you go back to work, for six weeks after the operation you should refrain from vigorous exercise and lift no more than ten pounds at a time.

 

Planning vacations
Because of the risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), it is prudent to wait at least three weeks after surgery before flying in an airplane. Otherwise, the major limitations to travel involve your comfort with traveling.