What is this?
This involves examination of the testis via a scrotal incision, untwisting of the affected testis and fixation of both testes in the scrotum to prevent twisting in the future
What alternatives are there?
Observation risks loss of the testis and may also cause reflex damage to the other, normal testis
What to expect before procedure
This procedure is usually performed following an emergency admission and is best carried out within 4 hours of the onset of symptoms. You will be asked not to eat or drink before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.
What happens during the procedure?
Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. The surgeon will explore both your testicles through an incision in the scrotum. If twisting of the testicle is confirmed, the testicle will be untwisted and both testicles fixed in the scrotum to prevent recurrence of the twisting.
After the procedure
You may experience discomfort for a few days after the procedure but painkillers will be given to you to take home. Absorbable stitches are normally used which do not require removal. The average hospital stay is 2 days following emergency admission.
Potential side effects
When you leave hospital, you will be given a draft discharge summary of your admission. This holds important information about your inpatient stay and your operation. If, in the first few weeks after your discharge, you need to call your GP for any reason or to attend another hospital, please take this summary with you to allow the doctors to see details of your treatment. This is particularly important if you need to consult another doctor within a few days of your discharge. The groin and scrotum may be uncomfortable for 7-10 days. Simple painkillers will usually relieve this discomfort. You are advised to take 10-14 days off work and to refrain from vigorous exercise (including sport) for 6 weeks.
What to look out for
If you develop a temperature, increased redness, throbbing or drainage at the site of the operation, please contact your GP.
A follow-up outpatient appointment will normally be arranged 6-8 weeks after the operation although, in some patients, follow-up may not be arranged unless there are post-operative problems.
There is no specific research in this area at the moment but all operative procedures performed in the department are subject to rigorous audit at a monthly Audit & Clinical Governance meeting.