What does the procedure involve?
Insertion of a silicone or saline testicular implant, usually through a groin incision.
What are the alternatives to this procedure?
What should I expect before the procedure?
You will usually be admitted to hospital on the same day as your surgery. Immediately before the operation, the anaesthetist may give you a pre-medication, which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.
Please tell your surgeon (before your surgery) if you have any of the following:
- An artificial heart valve.
- A coronary artery stent.
- A heart pacemaker or defibrillator.
- An artificial joint.
- An artificial blood-vessel graft.
- A neurosurgical shunt.
- Any other implanted foreign body.
- A regular prescription for warfarin, aspirin or clopidogrel (Plavix®).
- A previous or current MRSA infection.
What happens during the procedure?
Either a full general anaesthetic (where you will be asleep) or a spinal anaesthetic (where you are unable to feel anything from the waist down) will be used. All methods reduce the level of pain afterwards. Your anaesthetist will explain the pros and cons of each type of anaesthetic to you.
The surgeon will insert your artificial testicle (pictured) through a small incision, usually in the groin. You will have neck of the scrotum is closed off with stitches to prevent the prosthesis from moving up into the groin. The prosthesis itself is fixed to the inside of the scrotum to prevent it from “tumbling”.
What happens immediately after the procedure?
You may experience discomfort for a few days after the procedure but we will give you painkillers to take home. Absorbable stitches are normally used which do not require removal. The average hospital stay is two days.
Are there any side-effects?
Most procedures are straightforward; however as with any surgical procedure there is a chance of side effects or complications.
Common (greater than 1 in 10)
- The prosthesis may ride up in warm weather and lie at a higher level than the other testicle.
- You may be able to feel the stitch at one end of the prosthesis through the skin.
Occasional (between 1 in 10 and 1 in 50)
- Cosmetic result is not always perfect.
Rare (less than 1 in 50)
- Infection of the incision needing further treatment & possible removal of the prosthesis.
- Bleeding from the wound needing surgery & possible removal of the prosthesis.
- Pain, infection or leaking needing removal of the prosthesis.
- Long term unknown risks from use of silicone products.
What should I expect when I get home?
The groin and scrotum may be uncomfortable for seven to 10 days but we will give you simple painkillers to take home. You are advised to take 10 to 14 days off work and you should refrain from vigorous exercise (including sport) for six weeks.
What else should I look out for?
If you develop a temperature, increased redness, throbbing or drainage at the site of the operation, please contact your Surgeon or GP. In case of emergency attend your local hospital emergency department or call ‘000’.
Are there any other important points?
A follow-up appointment will normally be arranged at six to eight weeks after the operation to assess the cosmetic result. An artificial testicle may look normal from the outside but is much firmer than a normal testicle and does not, therefore, feel normal.
This information is intended as a general educational guide and may not apply to your situation. You must not rely on this information as an alternative to consultation with your urologist or other health professional.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.