Testicular torsion

Testicular torsion

What is testicular torsion?

Torsion means twisted. In testicular torsion, the spermatic cord becomes twisted and the blood flow to the testicles is blocked.

Who is affected?

Testicular torsion is most common around puberty, but it can also occur in infants and young adults.

What are the symptoms of testicular torsion?

Pain will develop rapidly and the testicles will swell and feel very tender. The scrotal skin will become discoloured. The condition may be so painful that it causes nausea and vomiting. Medical help should be sought immediately if these symptoms are experienced.

How is testicular torsion diagnosed?

A physical examination by your doctor will confirm the diagnosis.

How is testicular torsion treated?

Immediate surgery is the recommended treatment. The torsion that has tightened the blood vessels is removed and the blood supply to the testicles is resumed. In order to prevent a recurrence, the testicles are stitched to the inner-side of the scrotum (testicular fixation). The other testicle will also be anchored to the scrotum to prevent torsion on that side. If circulation of blood has been blocked for a long time it may be necessary to remove the testicles (orchidectomy).

What is the outlook?

Recovery from the operation is usually rapid. If treatment was prompt, the testis will recover completely. Even if one testis is removed, the ability to reproduce will not be affected.

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