What is Testicular Cancer Surgery?
Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the testicles, which are the male reproductive organs responsible for producing sperm and testosterone. Surgery is the primary treatment for testicular cancer and is often highly effective, especially when the cancer is detected early.
Diagnosis and Staging:
Testicular cancer is usually diagnosed through a physical examination, ultrasound, and blood tests to measure tumor markers like alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). If the testicular mass is suspected to be cancerous, a biopsy is generally not performed due to the risk of spreading cancer cells. Instead, the affected testicle is removed entirely through surgery (radical inguinal orchiectomy).
Radical Inguinal Orchiectomy:
Radical inguinal orchiectomy is the standard surgical procedure for testicular cancer. It involves the removal of the entire affected testicle through an incision in the groin area. The spermatic cord, which contains blood vessels and the vas deferens (the tube that carries sperm from the testicle), is also removed. This procedure is performed to confirm the diagnosis and to remove the cancerous tissue from the body.
Before undergoing radical inguinal orchiectomy, some men may choose to bank their sperm for future fertility, especially if they plan to have children in the future. Sperm banking allows the preservation of viable sperm that can be used for assisted reproduction methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) if fertility is affected by the treatment.
Staging and Further Treatment:
After the orchiectomy, the removed testicle is examined under a microscope to determine the cancer type and its extent. If cancer is present, the doctor will stage the disease to assess if it has spread beyond the testicle. Depending on the stage and risk factors, additional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surveillance may be recommended.
Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection (RPLND):
For some cases of testicular cancer, especially those with a high risk of spreading to the lymph nodes at the back of the abdomen (retroperitoneal lymph nodes), a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) may be performed. RPLND involves the surgical removal of the lymph nodes in the retroperitoneal area to prevent further spread of cancer. It is often considered for certain non-seminoma testicular cancers that have a high risk of lymph node involvement.
After the orchiectomy or RPLND, patients usually experience some pain and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medications. Recovery times vary, but most men can resume normal activities within a few weeks. It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions regarding wound care, activity restrictions, and follow-up appointments.
Following a radical inguinal orchiectomy, some men may choose to have a testicular prosthesis implanted to restore the appearance of having two testicles. A testicular prosthesis is a silicone implant that is placed in the scrotum during a separate surgical procedure. The decision to have a prosthesis is entirely optional and depends on the patient’s preferences.
In some cases, especially when the diagnosis of testicular cancer is uncertain, a laparoscopic orchiectomy may be performed. This minimally invasive procedure involves the removal of the affected testicle using small incisions and a laparoscope, a thin, lighted tube with a camera. Laparoscopic orchiectomy allows for a shorter recovery time and reduced scarring compared to radical inguinal orchiectomy. However, it may not be suitable for all types and stages of testicular cancer.
Complications of Surgery:
- hile testicular cancer surgery is generally safe and effective, like any surgical procedure, it carries some risks and potential complications. These can include:
- Infection: Surgical site infections are possible and may require antibiotic treatment.
- Bleeding: Excessive bleeding during or after surgery may occur and may require further intervention.
- Hematoma: A collection of blood at the surgical site can cause swelling and discomfort.
- Lymphedema: After a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, lymphatic fluid may accumulate, leading to swelling in the legs or scrotum.
- Loss of fertility: Radical inguinal orchiectomy can impact fertility, and while the remaining testicle can still produce sperm, fertility may be reduced.
- Psychological impact: Testicular cancer surgery can have emotional and psychological effects, including body image concerns and anxiety about cancer recurrence.
After surgery, regular follow-up care is essential to monitor recovery, detect any signs of recurrence, and manage potential side effects or complications. Follow-up visits typically include physical examinations, blood tests to check tumor markers, imaging studies, and discussions about any ongoing treatment or surveillance plans.
Testicular cancer can have a significant psychological impact on patients and their loved ones. Coping with the diagnosis, treatment, and potential changes in body image can be challenging. Psychological support, including counseling and support groups, can play a crucial role in helping patients and their families navigate the emotional aspects of dealing with cancer.
In conclusion, surgery is the primary treatment for testicular cancer and involves the removal of the affected testicle through a radical inguinal orchiectomy. The surgery is usually followed by staging and, if necessary, additional treatments such as RPLND, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care play a crucial role in achieving successful outcomes for patients with testicular cancer.
Testicular Cancer Surgery Clinic:
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Our Centre's for Testicular Cancer Surgery
One can visit any of our branches that are nearby to your location for the best overall healthcare treatment of Testicular Cancer Surgery. Our experts not only provide superior quality care using latest technologies but also provide complete treatment along with rehabilitation facilities and post-operative care.