Testicular Torsion: A Surgical Emergency


What is Testicular torsion ?

Testicular torsion is a medical condition in males where the testicles twist around the spermatic cord that supports them in the scrotum. When this occurs, the blood flow to the testicle is restricted. Adult men need to take note of this, but it is imperative that PARENTS of young men also are aware of the seriousness of this problem. Fast response may save your child's testicle(s)!

One of the most common symptoms of testicular torsion is extreme and sudden pain. This usually occurs on one side of the scrotum. Any swelling, change in scrotum color (particularly darkening or redness), and change in size is a significant problem. The problem can worsen, and the patient can start feeling uncomfortable in a few days or even hours.

Doctors have declared testicular torsion a "medical emergency," but many men are unaware of the reason why. Below, we will discuss testicular torsion emergency and the surgical process that men may go through.


Why Is Testicular Torsion a Medical Emergency?

Testicular torsion is a medical emergency for several reasons. According to the Urology Care Foundation, 4 out of 10 young men who suffer from testicular torsion lose their affected testicles. This usually occurs because of a delay in diagnosing the condition. If any pain or discomfort is ever experienced in the testicles, it is a sign that medical assistance is required immediately.

Since the spermatic cord supplies all the blood to the testicle, the blood supply can get restricted due to torsion. The affected testicle shrinks, if doctors do not restore the supply within 4 to 6 hours. The testicle can perish, and the scrotum can become red, tender, and swollen with lack of blood.

Many men, especially young ones, feel ashamed or insecure to admit to testicular pain. They wait for the pain to subside, especially those unaware of how serious this condition is. Hence, they suffer the loss of their testicle. Awareness about testicular torsion should be compulsory during medical office visits. Young males in schools, colleges, sports teams, and social media can use their voices to spread the necessary knowledge about torsion. Increased awareness of the condition can benefit thousands and prevent the loss of testicles.


Testicular Torsion Emergency Surgery

If you are experiencing any symptoms of testicular torsion, the best thing you can do is to immediately head to a hospital. Many hospitals have emergency procedures in place, to minimize the possible loss of testicles when a patient with torsion visits the emergency room. The need for prompt aid is understood, to save the testicle.

A testicular torsion emergency requires surgery within 4 to 6 hours from the initial onset of the symptoms. This can help save the testicles before any significant damage occurs. Surgical exploration of the testicles can help assess the spermatic cord, to search for any evidence of torsion.

If evidence of torsion is found during the surgery, the surgeon will untwist the cord, and both testicles will be surgically affixed to the scrotum. This surgery is known as bilateral orchidopexy and can prevent further torsion episodes.

If the patient has already suffered the loss of a testicle or both, an orchidectomy, which is the surgical procedure to remove one or both testicles, will be performed. A doctor will insert a prosthesis (artificial testicle) at the time of the testicular torsion emergency surgery or at a later date, depending on the patient's condition and preference.


Final Words

Testicular torsion emergency requires immediate medical intervention. Please visit an emergency room or schedule an appointment with a physician immediately, if you are experiencing any testicular torsion symptoms. Do not ignore the signs, because you could suffer the loss of one or both testicles. Recognize that it is an emergency. The sooner you do, the better your chances to retain your testicles!

Disclaimer: Please note: this blog post is provided for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the guidance of your personal physician. Please consult a medical professional if you have any concerns after reading this or other blog posts on this website.