Whether you are scheduled for a single radical inguinal orchiectomy or a bilateral one which will affect both of your testicles, learning how to prepare for testicular cancer surgery will ease the stress you are feeling. Affecting mostly young men between the ages of fifteen and 34, testicular cancer is highly treatable through a surgical procedure in which the cancerous testicle is removed. The skin punch (scrotum) in which the testicle resides is not removed, however, and the patient may choose to have a saline-filled, prosthetic testicle inserted instead. Though a prosthetic testicle will not perform a reproductive function, it will return the male groin area to its former appearance. To prepare for testicular cancer surgery, the patient should follow these steps.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask in advance. To prepare yourself for testicular cancer surgery make sure you are informed of your cancer stage and the requisite treatment. In early-stage testicular cancer, surgery is typically the only necessary treatment. In seminoma-type testicular cancer surgery is combined with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy in which oral medications are administered to kill off cancer cells may also be necessary. In severe cases, the removal of lymph nodes is also required.
- Take appropriate medication. If your doctor prescribed a course of chemotherapy prior to testicular cancer surgery, be sure to persist with taking the treatment despite its distressing side-effects, such as severe nausea, hair loss, debilitating weakness and fatigue.
- Advise your doctor of additional supplements or medications. If you are taking any other prescription medications or over-the-counter medications, be sure to let your doctor know at least a week before your appointment. As part of your preparation for testicular surgery you will be asked to abstain from taking any blood thinning medications, such as aspirin. You may also be asked to refrain from taking supplements.
- Leave valuables at home. Though preparing for testicular cancer surgery may feel like a life-altering experience to you, the medical staff and doctors who will care for you in the hospital will appreciate simple gestures that will make their task easier. Leave any valuables, including a wedding band, at home, as well as your wallet, credit cards, watch and any electrical equipment you normally use, such as your cell phone, Gameboy, iPad or iPhone.
- Do not come alone. Be sure a caring friend or family member is there to support you on the day of surgery. This person should drive you to the hospital and carry any money or insurance information that you will need to provide to the hospital. In cases of outpatient surgery, this person will be asked to drive you home after the procedure. As you go over your preparations for your testicular surgery, reconfirm a week in advance that this person is still free to accompany you.
- Bring what you’ll need. Some hospitals will provide you with a robe, slippers and toiletries, but others will not. Complete your preparations for testicular surgery by confirming what personal items you should bring. Find out if you will be staying overnight, and if so whether you should bring a house robe as well.
- What will happen after surgery? Ask what side-effects you will experience after surgery is done. Determine how your symptoms will progress over the next few days, and what medications you may take to ease your pain. To effectively prepare for testicular surgery find out if you need to purchase any items in advance, such as a cold pack to reduce swelling, and fill any prescriptions your doctor may require you to commence taking after the procedure.
As with all things in life, fear of the unknown increases our trepidations. To prepare for testicular surgery in a manner that will ease your stress find out the answers to all your questions in advance.