Are Testicular Implants Right for You?

What Every Man Should Know Before Considering Testicular Implants

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From a traumatic injury to testicular cancer, certain situations might call for testicular implants. Whatever the reason you may be considering testicular implants, here's what you need to know.

History of Testicular Implants

Testicular implants have been performed since the 1940s. Various materials have been used including glass, polyethylene, silicone, dacron and vitallium alloy, to name just a few.

In 1976, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became involved in regulating implant materials and reviewing their safety. Luckily, the technology has come a long way in the past 70 or so years. Currently, only a saline filled testicular implant is approved for use by the FDA.

Reasons for Getting Testicular Implants

Testicular implants can create a normal cosmetic appearance of testicles and give a man or a child confidence. There are a number of reasons why a testicular implant is considered, including:

  • Adults and children with undescended testicles
  • Children and adult males with torsion of a testicle or testicles.
  • Following a traumatic injury to the testicles
  • Following testicular cancer
  • Men that have very small and/or deformed and/or a nonfunctioning testicle or testicles may choose to have a testicular implant

Testicular implants are not suitable for everyone. Men with untreated cancer or infections or those who have had radiotherapy or undergone some forms of trauma are not eligible for the procedure.

Complications

Testicular implants can often be carried out by medical staff on a day patient basis. But as with any surgical procedure, there may be post-operative complications after getting testicular implants. The most common is infection. Other complications include hematoma (blood loss into the surrounding tissue) and poor wound healing.

Side effects of anesthesia, although rare, can be very serious.

Research Findings

Studies have shown that saline-filled testicular implants are safe and can improve self-esteem in boys and men who choose to get them by restoring normal appearance. Other studies have found that the majority of men who undergo the procedure are generally satisfied with the results, with only a small percentage reporting pain or discomfort.

The decision to get testicular implants is not one that should be taken lightly. Your healthcare providers can help you decide if it's right for you.

Check out these resources for more information about testicular-related conditions:

Does a Testicle Lump Always Mean Testicular Cancer?

Testicular Torsion

How to Do a Testicular Self-Exam

Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Lymphoma of the Testes

Sources:

J. Adshead, B. Khoubehi, J. Wood, G. Rustin. Testicular implants and patient satisfaction: a questionnaire-based study of men after orchidectomy for testicular cancer. BJU International Volume 88 Issue 6 Page 559. October 2001

Girsdansky J, Newman HF. Use of a vitallium testicular implant, Am J Surg,53:514, 1941; First report of a testicular implant Bukowski, TP, “Testicular Prostheses”, Chapter 8 in “Urologic Prostheses: The Complete Practical Guide to Devices, Their Implantation, and Patient Follow up, Culley C. Carson III, MD editor, Humana Press, Totowa, New Jersey, 2002

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