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Frequently Asked Questions

What will become of my son's other testicle after removal of the affected one?

The remaining testicle will not be negatively affected. It may become larger to offset the removed testicle. However, your son should tell the doctor about anything unusual from his routine monthly self-exam.

Will my son still be able to have children in the future?

Long-term data on patients who had orchiectomy in childhood for a testicular tumor are not clear. Still, it is generally agreed that normal sperm growth occurs in the other testicle after puberty. Assisted reproductive techniques make paternity a real option.

What will my son look like after the procedure? Will he be noticeably different from other boys?

Most often boys do not look different after orchiectomy. The scrotum is not cut and the other testicle keeps growing. If a boy does not like the result, a prosthesis may be placed into the scrotum. This is most often done after puberty.

How long will it take for my son to heal physically after inguinal orchiectomy?

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and most children return home on the same day. Your son should avoid contact sports for at least 2 weeks, but should be able to return to school within 1 week.

What are the chances that the cancer will grow in the other testicle?

No new tumors in the remaining normal testicle have been reported yet in the Society of Pediatric Urology Prepubertal Tumor Registry. This registry is made up of 307 patients with testicular tumors. In adults there is a 2 to 3% incidence of a bilateral tumor (on the opposite side) occurring at the same time or right after the first tumor.

How is a testicular self-exam performed?

Boys can start monthly testicular self-exams during their teen years. Monthly testicular self-exams are the most important way to detect a tumor early. The best time to examine the testicles is right after a hot bath or shower. The scrotal skin is most relaxed at this time and the testicles can be felt more easily. The exam should be done while standing and it only takes a few minutes.

  • Look for swelling in the scrotum or any changes in appearance.
  • Gently feel the scrotal sac to find a testicle.
  • Examine the testicles one at a time. Firmly and gently roll each testicle between the thumb and fingers of both hands to feel the whole surface.
  • Note that it is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other. It is also normal to feel a cord-like structure (the epididymis) on the top and back of each testicle.
  • If you find a lump, swelling, pain or other change, get it checked out right away. Changes are not always cancer. If it is cancer and you catch it early, you have the best chance for a cure.