Orchiectomy is the removal of the testicles.
The penis and the scrotum, the pouch of skin that holds the testicles, are left
intact. An orchiectomy is done to stop most of the body's production of
prostate cancer usually needs in order to continue
What To Expect After Surgery
Orchiectomy can be done as an
outpatient procedure or with a short hospital stay. Regular activities are
usually resumed within 1 to 2 weeks, and a full recovery can be expected within
2 to 4 weeks.
Why It Is Done
Orchiectomy may help relieve
symptoms, prevent complications, and prolong survival for
advanced prostate cancer. Radiation treatment is
sometimes needed also.
How Well It Works
Orchiectomy often causes the tumor
to shrink and relieves bone pain.
This surgery does not cure
prostate cancer, although it may prolong survival.
Orchiectomy causes sudden hormone changes in the
body. Side effects from hormone changes include:
- Loss of sexual
- Erection problems.
- Larger breasts (gynecomastia).
- Loss of muscle mass.
- Thin or brittle bones (osteoporosis).
What To Think About
Removing the testicles is one way
to cut down on testosterone and other male hormones, or
androgens. Taking medicine is another way to reduce
androgen levels in your body. Some men may prefer surgery over taking pills or
having injections. But if you choose to take medicine, you can stop taking the
hormone drugs. And the side effects from taking medicine may go away. An
orchiectomy is permanent.
Some men choose to have reconstructive
surgery after an orchiectomy, in which the surgeon replaces the testicles with
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
||June 28, 2010