A testicular prosthesis is a soft plastic device that can be inserted at the time of an orchidectomy, or at a later date. It is size-matched to your remaining testis. There is no direct medical indication for insertion of prosthesis, but it can restore a normal feel and appearance to the scrotum if you have had a testicle removed.
How is the operation performed?
This operation is performed under general anaesthetic. A small incision is made in the lower abdomen, and the prosthesis is inserted into the scrotum. A single stich anchors it to the base of the scrotum, and the incision is closed with absorbable sutures. The procedure usually takes about half an hour.
After the operation
You will be able to go home the same day. It is usual to experience some discomfort after the operation, but this should be controlled easily with pain medications, and should get better quickly. You shouldn’t drive for a number of days. Your urologist will give you specific instructions about work; the advice will depend on what you do for a living.
What are the risks of this operation?
All procedures have the potential for side effects. Although these complications are well recognised, the majority of patients do not have problems after a procedure.
Risks of the anaesthetic need to be discussed with the anaesthetist who will be looking after you during the operation, and who will visit you beforehand.
There are specific risks with this surgical procedure, and these will be discussed with you before your procedure. As a guide to complement that one-on-one discussion with your surgeon, these include:
- Discomfort, lasting several days
- Bleeding that requires a further minor procedure
- Infection of the incision requiring antibiotics
- A large bruise in the area that becomes infected, requiring a further procedure, and possible removal of the prosthesis.
- An infection of the prosthesis, which requires its removal.
- Long term numbness in the lower groin and side of the scrotum from damage to the ilio-inguinal nerve.
If you have painful swelling of the scrotum or the incision, or develop a temperature or feel unwell in yourself, contact the rooms. If out of hours, contact Calvary Hospital, or go to your nearest emergency department. Most people will have some swelling and bruising, but if this is worrying do ask for help. Likewise, some discomfort is usual. This discomfort will soon improve. If the pain is worrying, ask for help.
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.