Surgery is usually the first step in treating men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer
The good news about testicular cancer is that it is a very treatable form of cancer. The first treatment is usually surgery. After the team at our Austin urology office diagnoses testicular cancer, they develop a treatment plan that takes certain factors into account, such as the stage of the cancer and the patient‘s serum tumor marker levels.
There are two types of surgery for testicular cancer.
Radical inguinal orchiectomy
In almost every circumstance, a radical inguinal orchiectomy is the first surgery for testicular cancer, even for men whose cancer has spread. During this surgical procedure, the surgeon removes the entire testicle (or testicles).
Surgery for testicular cancer is performed using general, local or spinal anesthesia. Your Urology Austin surgeon will take precautions to help ensure that no cancer cells from a tumor spread into your blood stream or into the surgical site. One way this is accomplished is to tie off the lymph and blood vessels found in the spermatic cord. After taking these precautions, the surgeon makes an incision in the groin area and removes the testicle(s) directly from the scrotum.
During surgery for testicular cancer, your Urology Austin surgeon will take a tissue sample to be biopsied from the testicle(s) that has been removed. This is an important step because your Urology Austin team needs to know the cell type of your cancer, either seminoma or non-seminoma, so they can create the proper treatment plan for you.
A typical radical inguinal orchiectomy takes between 20 to 40 minutes to perform, and almost all patients will go home the day of surgery.
Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND)
Some men will require a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. This surgery for testicular cancer may be done during the radical inguinal orchiectomy or it may be done as a second surgery. This is a complicated surgery where lymph nodes are removed from the abdominal area to be evaluated.
The surgery is either done with a traditional abdominal incision, or it may be done in a minimally invasive way through small abdominal incisions. RPLND is major surgery, and patients who need to have this surgery for testicular cancer will be thoroughly briefed about risks and recovery by their Urology Austin team.
What happens after surgery?
Some patients will not need further treatment after surgery for testicular cancer, but other patients may need medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, depending on the type of cancer they have and whether or not it has spread.
Patients will need to be closely monitored for cancer recurrence, which will include office visits, along with tests that may include X-rays, CT scans or bloodwork.
Both the American Cancer Society and the Testicular Cancer Foundation emphasize the importance of choosing an experienced surgeon for testicular cancer. Patients who choose Urology Austin to treat their testicular cancer can rely on our team of experts who have years of experience. For more information, contact us.