Feelings of loss and uneasiness or shame after removal of a testicle by orchidectomy: a population-based long-term follow-up of testicular cancer survivors.
The loss of a testicle is a psychological trauma, in particular for young men. The cosmetic defect can be corrected by implantation of a silicone testicular prosthesis (STP). The recurring discussion regarding the problems of silicone implants mainly concerns breast implants. STPs are made of equivalent material. Since we have been using STPs for 20 years, we wanted to research the opinion of our patients regarding these issues. Between 1978 and 1998, 51 STPs were implanted--37 times by groin incision and 14 times by scrotal incision--in 51 patients. The average age of the patients at the time of the operation was 23.3 years (14.3-55.4). Three implants had to be removed early. A questionnaire was distributed to all patients with STPs; 39 of the questionnaires were returned completed. The results--10.1 years postoperative--showed no serious late complications, an acceptance rate of 97% by the patients and about 50% by their female partners. Therefore, we will continue to offer the option for implantation of STP to our patients.