Caring for Yourself After Your Orchiectomy

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

An orchiectomy is a procedure to remove the testicles. It can be done through an incision (surgical cut) in either your scrotum (the pouch of skin that holds the testicles) or groin (the area between your belly and thigh).

After Your Procedure

  • After your procedure, your incision will be closed with Steri-Strips™ (thin strips of paper tape) with a bandage over it.
  • Keep the bandage on your incision for 48 hours.
  • Leave the Steri-Strips on your incision. If they have not fallen off in 3 days, you can remove them.
Back to top

Managing Your Discomfort

  • You will have swelling and bruising on your scrotum or groin.
  • Wear the scrotal support that your nurse gave you for 48 hours. It will hold the bandage in place and provide support to make you more comfortable. After 48 hours, wear brief style underwear.
  • For the first 24 hours after your procedure, applying ice may help with the swelling and bruising. Put an ice pack covered with a cloth inside your scrotal support for 10 minutes. Then, remove it for 10 minutes. You can repeat as needed. Don’t keep the ice pack on for more than 10 minutes at a time.
  • Take the pain medication your healthcare provider (HCP) prescribed.
  • Don’t strain when you have a bowel movement (pass stool). If you’re constipated (have fewer bowel movements than what’s normal for you), take a stool softener such as docusate sodium (Colace®). You can also drink more liquids and eat more foods with fiber.
    • For more information, search for the resources Food Sources of Fiber on mskcc.org/pe or ask your nurse. If you’re still constipated, call your HCP.
  • You may have some discomfort while sitting the week after your procedure. It may help to sit on a donut cushion or pillow. You can purchase one at a medical supply store.
Back to top

Cleaning Your Incision

You may shower 48 hours after your procedure. Don’t take a tub bath or soak your incision in water until your HCP tells you it’s safe.

During your shower, clean your incision. Follow these steps to help you heal and prevent infection.

  1. Remove the bandage covering your incision before your shower or while you’re in the shower. Remember to leave the Steri-Strips in place. You may see slight blood staining on the gauze pad that covers the incision. This is normal.
  2. Wash your incision gently with soap.
  3. Rinse well using a gentle stream of water.
  4. Pat your incision dry with a clean towel.
  5. Look at your incision using a hand-held mirror or ask someone to help you. The following side effects are normal and may last for a few days:
    • Slight redness
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness
    • Bruising
  6. Place a gauze pad over your incision. Don’t use tape. The gauze pad will be held in place by your underwear.
  7. Repeat this process daily until your follow-up appointment with your HCP.
Back to top

Activity

  • Don’t play sports, exercise, jog, or run for 4 weeks.
  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) for 4 weeks.
  • Ask your HCP when you can drive a car and return to work.
Back to top

Follow-up Appointment

Call your HCP to schedule your follow-up appointment. Your nurse will tell you when to make this appointment before you leave the hospital.

Back to top

Call Your Healthcare Provider if You:

  • Have a temperature of 101° F (38.3° C) or higher
  • Have increased redness in your groin area
  • Have increased swelling of your scrotum or groin area, such as if your scrotum becomes bigger than the size of a small orange
  • Have drainage from your incision, such as increased blood or pus
  • Can’t urinate
  • Are constipated
  • Have bleeding from your incision that soaks a gauze pad
Back to top

Last Updated