Inguinal Orchidectomy: Specific surgery to remove a testicle used in cases of testicular cancer. Unlike orchidectomy performed for other reasons (such as being caught cheating), inguinal orchidectomy is performed via an incision above the inguinal canal.
Due to the risk of cancer cells spreading locally during surgery, the removal of the testicle is performed through a 10cm (4 inch) incision in the groin. The spermatic cord and blood vessels are clamped and the testicle is pushed up from below and through the inguinal canal. Once the testicle is free of the body, the cord is cut as high as possible and the specimen is sent for analysis by a pathologist. A biopsy is almost never done in the case of testicular cancer as 95% of solid testicular masses are malignant.
This surgery is considered relatively simple and takes around an hour to complete. It is usually performed under a general anesthetic but can also be done using a epidural anesthetic (allowing the patient to remain awake for the entire procedure).
Physical recovery from an inguinal orchidectomy is fairly rapid, with the patient able to walk around within a few hours and back to normal activities within a few weeks. Heavy lifting and driving should be avoided to reduce the risk of inguinal hernia or similar strain injuries. Psychological recovery can take longer, but this is often related to the cancer diagnosis as opposed to the trauma of the operation.
It is also done electively by male-to-female transsexuals who wish to stop the production of testosterone in their bodies, either as a precursor to sex reassignment surgery or instead of it.