When a man is diagnosed with testicular cancer, in the vast majority of cases, the whole testicle needs to be removed. Even if the cancer is taking up only a small portion of the testicle, it’s the safest way to ensure that all the cancer is removed. Furthermore, most men can function very well with just one testicle, which means that they can still maintain their fertility and testosterone production.
This surgery is called an orchidectomy. When the testicle is removed, a prosthetic testicle or testicular implant can be placed into the scrotum. They come in different sizes and are matched to the size of the other testicle. The purpose of the implant is just so that the scrotum can retain the same look that it had before, but it has no function of producing sperm or testosterone. The implant can be placed either at the time the testicle is removed or if the man is unsure if he wants to have the implant right away, it can always be put in later at any time in the future.
Answered by: Dr Darren Katz
Darren Katz is a urological surgeon, a male fertility microsurgeon, and the founder and medical director of multi-disciplinary clinic, Men’s Health Melbourne. He's the current chairman of the Andrology Special Advisory Group for the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand.