Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Orchiectomy for Prostate Cancer
Orchiectomy is the removal of the testicles.
The penis and the scrotum, the pouch of skin that holds the testicles, are left
intact. An orchiectomy is done to stop most of the body's production of
prostate cancer usually needs in order to continue
These methods work equally well for stopping the production of testosterone by the testicles. These surgeries are about as complicated as a vasectomy and take less than 30 minutes.
Orchiectomy can be done as an
outpatient procedure or with a short hospital stay. You can typically resume regular activities in 1 to 2 weeks. And you can expect a full recovery in
2 to 4 weeks.
Orchiectomy may help relieve
symptoms, prevent complications, and prolong survival for
advanced prostate cancer. Radiation treatment is
sometimes needed also.
Orchiectomy often causes the tumor
to shrink and relieves bone pain.
This surgery does not cure
prostate cancer, although it may prolong survival.
Orchiectomy causes sudden hormone changes in the
body. Side effects from hormone changes may include:
Removing the testicles is one way
to cut down on testosterone and other male hormones, or
androgens. Taking medicine is another way to reduce
androgen levels in your body. Some men may prefer surgery over taking pills or
having injections. But if you choose to take medicine, you can stop taking the
hormone drugs. And the side effects from taking medicine may go away. An
orchiectomy is permanent.
Some men choose to have reconstructive
surgery after an orchiectomy. For this, the surgeon replaces the testicles with
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Current as ofJuly 26, 2016
Current as of:
July 26, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.