Having your testicular cancer operation
This page is about what happens when you have your operation for testicular cancer. There is information about
Having your testicular cancer operation
Before your operation, the surgeon and anaesthetist will explain exactly what they are going to do. A nurse or physiotherapist will teach you breathing and leg exercises to help prevent problems after surgery. Your groin, chest or abdomen may be shaved depending on the operation you are having.
If you are having removal of a testicle you will usually be able to move around soon after the surgery and will be able to eat and drink as soon as you have recovered from the anaesthetic.
If you are having removal of lymph nodes or lung tumours, you will probably have a drip to give you liquids, tubes (drains) to stop fluid collecting around the operation site, and a catheter to drain your bladder. You will have regular painkillers.
As soon as you are eating and drinking, the nurse will take your drip down. They will take your drainage tubes out over the next few days. As long as you are recovering well, you should then be able to go home.
Give yourself time to recover. If you feel this is taking longer than it should, you could ask your GP about counselling or a support group. Talking about how you are feeling can help you to feel better.
You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating testicular cancer section.
When you go into hospital, your surgeon and anaesthetist will see you to explain exactly what they are going to do.
A nurse or physiotherapist will teach you breathing and leg exercises to help prevent chest infection and blood clots after surgery. Below is a short video showing breathing and circulation exercises after surgery. Click on the arrow to watch it. Please note: although this video shows a woman doing the exercises, they are the same for men.
You can view a transcript of the video showing breathing and circulation exercises after surgery (opens in new window)
A nurse may shave your groin, chest or abdomen, depending on the operation you are having.
This section describes what happens
If you are having removal of a testicle you will usually be able to eat and drink as soon as you have recovered from the anaesthetic. Your wound will be sore but you will have painkillers to take.
If you are having removal of lymph nodes or tumours in the lung, you will probably have several tubes in place when you come round after the operation. You may have
- A drip (intravenous infusion) to give you liquids
- Tubes called drains to stop fluid collecting around the operation site
- A catheter to drain your bladder
You will also have a blood pressure cuff on your arm and may have a clip on your finger to measure your pulse.
You may have a pump containing painkillers going into your drip. You might have a hand control with a button to press to give yourself extra painkillers if you need them.
If you have a catheter, it can probably come out as soon as you are awake enough to pass urine normally. As soon as you are eating and drinking, your nurse will take your drip down. They will take your drainage tubes out over the next few days, once they have stopped draining fluid. As long as you are recovering well, you should be able to go home once your drains have come out.
Give yourself time. If you feel your recovery is taking longer than it should, you may want to talk to your GP about finding a counsellor or support group of other people who have been through a similar experience.
If you would like to find out about counselling and support groups in your area, contact one of the testicular cancer organisations that provide a counselling service. Talking to someone outside your circle of family and friends about how you are feeling can help you to feel better. Or you can have a look in our coping with cancer section.
If you want to find people to share experiences with online, you could use CancerChat, our online forum. Or you can go through My Wavelength. This is a free service that aims to put people with similar medical conditions in touch with each other.
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