samadi tessticular implant

Testicular Implant: Is It For You?

The go-to treatment in most cases of testicular cancer is the surgical removal of the affected testicle. This procedure will keep the scrotal sac in place so that everything will look (just about) the same on the outside. But many men opt to replace the missing testicle with a prosthesis, a testicular implant. Although common in those circumstances, it is clearly not a procedure to be approached lightly, and it is certainly not without its risks.

In earlier, scarier times, testicular implants could be made from metal alloys, lucite, plexiglas, polyethylene and, yes, even marbles. Nowadays, the Food and Drug Administration has tamed that Wild West and only a saline-filled prosthesis held by a thin, egg-shaped silicone elastomer shell passes muster. (Note, however, that silicone gel-filled implants are available out of the U.S.)

A testicular implant following the removal of a testicle is not strictly necessary – it is merely cosmetic, it cannot produce sperm or testosterone – but those who have the procedure performed usually say it makes them feel better about themselves. The surgery can be performed in an outpatient setting in about an hour, and the patient recovers after just a few days. Often times the surgeon performing the removal of your testicle will give you the option of replacing it with an implant at the same time.

There are two types of incisions which may be used to place the prosthesis, one into the lower groin area or one directly into the scrotum. In the former procedure, called an inguinal incision, the prosthesis is placed in the lower groin, reducing the chance that the implant will stick out of the scrotal sac. In the latter operation, the incision is made and the implant is placed inside and tied in with stitches.

When complete, the external appearance of the prosthesis may be the same (although 23 percent of patients said they were dissatisfied with the testicle implant’s position or shape) but it will feel much harder and less malleable than your natural testicle.

The potential complications are worth noting. The prosthesis could move around, stick out, bleed, hurt, swell, or scar on both the outside and inside. Developing adolescents who have this procedure performed may need to have it replaced with a larger prosthesis later on, so a second surgery will be required.

Photo credit:

David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor

View posts by David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Learn more at Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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