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Caring for Yourself at Home After Your Orchiectomy

This information explains how to care for yourself at home after your orchiectomy.

An orchiectomy is a procedure to remove the testicles. It can be done through an incision (surgical cut) in either the scrotum or the groin.

After your procedure, it is very important that you take care of your incision to promote healing and prevent infection.

Instructions for Home Care

  • For the first 24 hours after your procedure, ice may help with the swelling and bruising. Put an ice pack covered with a cloth inside your jockey shorts for 10 minutes. Then, remove it for 10 minutes. Do not keep the ice pack on for more than 10 minutes at one time.
  • You can shower 48 hours after your procedure. Do not take a tub bath or soak your incisional area in water until your doctor or nurse tells you it is safe.
    • You can remove the dressing covering your incision before your shower or while you are in the shower.
    • You may see slight blood staining on the gauze pad that covers your incision, but it should not be soaked with blood.
    • Wash your incision gently with soap.
    • Rinse well using a gentle stream of water.
    • Pat your incision dry with a clean towel.
  • Inspect your incision using a hand-held mirror or ask someone to help you. You may notice the following:
    • Slight redness
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness
    • Black-and-blue discoloration

These are expected effects of the procedure and may last for a few days.

  • Place a gauze pad over your incision. Do not use tape.
  • Wear an athletic support, a scrotal support, or jockey-type underwear 24 hours a day for 2 days. It will hold the gauze pad in place. It will also provide support and increase your comfort. A scrotal support can be purchased at any pharmacy.

Activity

  • Do not play sports, exercise, jog, run, or lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 4 weeks.
  • Ask your doctor when you can drive a car and return to work.

Recommendations to Increase Your Comfort

  • You may have some discomfort while sitting the week after your procedure. Try using a donut cushion or pillow. You can purchase one at a medical supply store.
  • Do not strain when you have a bowel movement. If needed, take a stool softener or a mild laxative. You can also increase your liquid intake and the amount of fiber in your diet.
  • Take the pain medication your doctor prescribes.

Follow-up Care

Call your doctor to schedule your follow-up appointment. You will be told when to make this appointment before you leave the hospital.

Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have:

  • Increased redness
  • Increased swelling of your scrotum or groin area. For example, if your scrotum becomes bigger than the size of a small orange
  • Drainage from your incision, such as increased blood or pus
  • A temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
  • An inability to urinate (cannot urinate)
  • Bleeding from your incision that soaks a gauze pad