Orchiectomy is the removal of one or both testicles (testes). The testicles are the male sex organs that produce sperm and the male hormone, testosterone. An orchiectomy is a common treatment for testicular cancer. It may also be done to treat other conditions such as prostate cancer or in the event of severe trauma to one or both testes. During the procedure, a small incision is made in the lower abdomen just below the belt line. The testicle is then pushed up from the scrotum through the incision and removed. The procedure is usually finished in less than an hour.
Laparoscopic Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection:
Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) is a procedure to remove abdominal lymph nodes to treat testicular cancer, as well as help establish its exact stage and type. It is usually performed using an incision that extends from the sternum to several inches below the navel. While laparoscopic methods may be used, they have been considered less effective by some surgeons.
Testicular cancer spreads in a well-known pattern, and the lymph nodes in the retroperitoneum are a primary landing site during spread of the disease. Examining the removed lymphatic tissue will determine the extent of spread of any malignant disease and if no malignant tissue is found, the cancer may be more accurately considered as a stage I cancer, limited to the testis. The procedure is becoming standard treatment for clinical stage I and II non-seminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCTT) because of the low mortality and relapse rate with this procedure, as compared with the alternative, which is observation. Also, NSGCTT is considered more aggressive than seminomas, the “other” kind of testicular cancer. Seminomas are also much more sensitive to radiation than NSGCTTs, so the noninvasive radiation treatment is often preferred over RPLND.