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Surgery for testicular cancer

surgical oncology

What is surgery?

Surgery is used to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, and to manage certain cancer-related symptoms. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our experienced surgeons have performed thousands of procedures and will discuss the surgical options that are best suited to your individual needs.

Whether a patient is a candidate for surgery or not depends on factors such as the type, size, location, grade and stage of the tumor, as well as general health factors such as age, physical fitness and other coexisting medical conditions the patient may have.

For many patients, surgery will be combined with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy. These nonsurgical treatments may be administered before surgery (neoadjuvant therapy) or after surgery (adjuvant therapy) to help prevent cancer growth, spread or recurrence.

Early in the treatment planning process, we plan for and proactively manage anticipated side effects from surgery. Our nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists and naturopathic clinicians work together with your surgical oncologist to support healing and quality of life. Our reconstructive surgeons perform procedures to restore the body's appearance and function when needed, at the time of surgery or following surgery.

Surgical oncology

Video: Surgical Oncology

Surgical Oncology

Surgery for testicular cancer

There are two primary types of surgery for testicular cancer:

  • Radical inguinal orchiectomy: With a radical inguinal orchiectomy, your surgeon will remove the testicle with the tumor, as well as the spermatic cord that connects the testicle to the abdomen.
  • Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection: If your doctor suspects that the cancer cells may have spread to nearby lymph nodes, this procedure may be performed at the same time, or during a second surgery.

During this type of surgery for testicular cancer, an incision is made in the abdomen, and lymph nodes behind the abdomen are removed and examined by a pathologist for evidence of tumor cells. In some cases, the surgeon may be able to perform this operation by making a much smaller incision and using a narrow, lighted tube (a laparoscope) to see inside the abdomen, and long surgical instruments to remove the lymph nodes.

Patients generally recover faster and have fewer complications after laparoscopic surgery than after a standard open procedure. In other cases, your doctors may follow the retroperitoneal lymph nodes by computerized tomography (CT) scans to see if they grow. 

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