Why is Orchidectomy done?

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Orchidectomy is a medical procedure to remove one or both testicles in males. Orchidectomy is also known as “orchiectomy”. An orchidectomy is often performed at some point before adulthood in order to avoid a small risk of cancerous changes. Generally, the penis and the scrotum, the pouch of skin that holds the testicles, are hold together. There are quite a lot of reasons for Orchidectomy. Testicular cancer is clear indication for orchiectomy, and some men may have unilateral or bilateral orchidectomy as a means of reducing testosterone that can worsen prostate cancer in advanced stages of the disease. An Orchidectomy is permanent. Some men choose to have reconstructive surgery after an orchiectomy, in which the surgeon replaces the testicles with artificial testicles.


Why is an Orchidectomy done?

  •  An Orchidectomy is done to stop most of the body's production of testosterone, which prostate cancer typically needs in order to grow continuously. Prostate cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the prostate gland.
  •  One more reason for the removal of testicle is serious traumatic injury to a testicle or individual liking for people who endure gender change.


How does Orchidectomy help prostate cancer patients?

In human body, hormones are produced by glands and are passed by the blood to all parts of the body. Hormones do several tasks in the body. The male hormone testosterone is responsible for hair growth on the face and body, a manly body structure, controlling the aspiration for sex. Testosterone is made chiefly in the testicles. A minute quantity of testosterone is also generated by the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are situated on top of each kidney and they produce various kinds of hormones. When a person has prostate cancer, testosterone feeds the cancer and helps it to grow. Consequently, it is vital to reduce the amount of testosterone in the body. An Orchidectomy or orchiectomy lowers the amount of testosterone in the body. Lowering the amount of testosterone can make the prostate cancer shrink or grow more gradually. If a person has pain in the bone doe to the cancer, an Orchidectomy may help the pain improve. Reducing the amount of testosterone in the body will not only cure prostate cancer, but also may slow down it.


How is Orchidectomy performed?

 An orchiectomy is very simple procedure. It is usually done as an outpatient procedure.

  •  An anesthesiologist may give the patient a local anesthetic or general anesthesia.
  •  The surgeon will make a small incision (cut) in the scrotum (the sack that holds the testicles) of the patient. The incision made by the surgeon is approximately 3 in or 7.6 cm long.
  •  The testicles will be removed.
  •  The surgeon will then sew the scrotum back.
  •  A saline solution is used by the surgeon to wash the area after the cord and testicle have been removed.
  •  Various layers of tissues and skin with various types of sutures are also closed by the surgeon.
  •  After this, a sterile gauze is then used to cover the wound and then bandaged.


What is the post-surgery care for Orchiectomy?

  • The patient may stay overnight in the hospital.
  •  The scrotum may swell or become larger after surgery.
  •  One should put ice packs on the scrotum for the first 48 hours after surgery to help keep the swelling down.
  •  Pain or discomfort at the wound site may be felt a few days after being discharged home following the operation.
  •  This can be relieved with prescribed or recommended painkillers.
  •  keep the incision (cut) made for the operation clean and dry
  •  Resting for a few days with the legs elevated would promote healing and reduction of any potential swelling in the scrotal area.
  •  In case, if You do not have access to view this node are prescribed, the patient should take the whole course given as instructed.
  •  Once the patient feels comfortable and is confident that he/ she can manage the activities, the patient may then be able to return to work.


What are the side-effects and risks of Orchidectomy?

Orchidectomy may cause abrupt hormone changes in the body. Side effects from hormone changes comprise:

  •  Infertility.
  •  Loss of sexual interest.
  •  Erection issues.
  •  Hot flashes.
  •  Larger breasts (gynecomastia).
  •  Weight gain.
  •  Loss of muscle mass.
  •  Thin or brittle bones (osteoporosis).


What are the alternate ways to decrease testosterone levels?

  •  Eliminating the testicles is one way to decrease 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. However, if a person chooses to take medicine, he/she can stop taking the hormone drugs. As a result, the side effects from taking medicine may leave.  
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