Orchiectomy

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Overview

What is an Orchiectomy?

Orchiectomy is a surgery to remove the testes; a gender-affirming, feminizing, lower/bottom surgery. Some people have orchiectomy and later have vaginoplasty, although often they are done in a single procedure. Some people only ever have orchiectomy. Denver Health recommends waiting to have orchiectomy if you plan on having vaginoplasty in the future due to tissue atrophy.

What is the procedure for orchiectomy?

  1. An incision is made in the middle of the scrotum.
  2. The testes are removed through the incision.
  3. The incision is closed with sutures and covered with surgical dressing.

How long will my hospital stay be?

You will be sent home on the same day.

What medications will I be prescribed after surgery?

You will likely receive painkillers and antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection.

What should I expect during the healing process?

You may experience some discomfort during the healing process, but your surgeon will provide you with pain medications. Expect some bruising and swelling around the surgical site. Bleeding is possible but rare.

What check-ups will be needed after my surgery?

The number of check-ups needed varies from person to person. Your surgeon may wish to see you once following your surgery to ensure you are healing as expected. You can also see your primary care provider about any concerns in the post-operative period. When you visit your surgeon or primary care provider, they should check your surgical sites to make sure there are no infections or wound healing problems. They will ask questions about pain, bleeding, urination, bowel movements, fever and how you are feeling physically and emotionally.

How long will it take for me to get back to my usual activities?

Recovery time varies from person to person, so always follow the advice of your surgeon. Generally speaking, people are often fully mobile within a day or two and return to work within a few days to a week. This depends on how you feel and what kind of work you do. Some activities, such as driving, heavy lifting, exercise, sex and soaking in hot tubs, may be restricted in the post-operative period. Your surgeon will give you advice about when it is okay to resume these activities.

What complications are associated with orchiectomy?

All surgical procedures involve some risks, including negative reactions to anesthesia, blood loss, blood clots and artery blockages. These complications can, in extreme cases, result in death. It’s important to discuss these risks in detail with your surgeon. Your surgical care team will take a wide variety of steps to prevent these problems, detect them if they arise and respond to them appropriately. They will also inform you about what you can do to minimize your risks.