After an orchiectomy, men are at risk of loss of muscle strength, osteoporosis, decreased sex drive, and even loss of fertility.
Orchiectomy is a procedure performed to remove one or both testicles of a man. This procedure is usually done to treat or prevent prostate cancer from spreading. In addition, orchiectomy is indicated in patients with testicular torsion, testicular cancer, treatment of testes after puberty, severe trauma to the testicles, and male breast cancer. This procedure is also often done during sex reassignment surgery (SRS).
The testicles are the main source of testosterone in the body, so after an orchiectomy, men may experience low testosterone. There are a number of possible long-term side effects that are usually more obvious in the case of men who have had both testicles removed.
These potential side effects include: loss of muscle strength, osteoporosis (a condition in which bone tissue becomes fragile due to hormonal changes), loss of sex drive, and inability to achieve or maintain get an erection. People who have had an orchiectomy are prone to uncontrolled weight gain, depression, low mood, erectile dysfunction, increased risk of cardiovascular disease…
Removal of one testicle usually does not affect testosterone levels in the body later on, as long as the other testicle is healthy and functioning normally. But if both testicles are removed, the body will not be able to produce sperm and testosterone levels will drop to very low levels, leading to lower or completely lost male fertility.
In the case of one testicle removal, the other side is more vulnerable than usual. Therefore, people who have had an orchiectomy should always be cautious when participating in contact sports, because sometimes the other testicle is painful and vulnerable.
There are a number of different orchiectomy procedures, each depending on the condition and purpose of the person requiring the orchiectomy.
Simple surgical excision: In this case, one or both testicles are removed through a small cut in the scrotum. Simple mastectomy is done to treat breast or prostate cancer if the doctor wants to limit the amount of testosterone the body makes.
Radical inguinal orchiectomy: This test is done if a man finds a lump in his testicle and the doctor wants to check the testicular tissue for cancer. With a radical inguinal orchiectomy, one or both testicles are removed through a small cut in the lower part of the abdomen instead of the scrotum.
Removal of the subcapsular testicle: The tissue surrounding the testicle is removed from the scrotum, leaving the surgeon’s scrotum intact.
Bilateral orchiectomy: With this procedure, both testicles are removed. This test is usually done if a man is suspected of having prostate cancer, breast cancer, or is transitioning from male to female.
The procedure to remove the testicles is quite simple, usually within 45 minutes to an hour. Patients can go home after surgery if there are no complications. However, it can take 2-8 weeks for patients to fully recover from surgery.
Patients should wear a scrotal brace for the first 48 hours after surgery if instructed by their doctor or nurse. Patients should apply ice to reduce swelling in the scrotum or around the incision, wash the area gently with soap in the shower, keep the incision dry and cover with a bandage for the first few days, avoid straining during bowel movements, drink a lot. Drink water and eat foods rich in fiber to keep bowel movements regular. Note: Do not do heavy work for 2 weeks after surgery, do not have sex until the incision is completely healed, avoid exercise, sports and running for 4 weeks after surgery.
Mr. Chi (Follow Healthline, Very Well Health)