Surgery is required to correct testicular torsion. In some cases, the doctor may be able to untwist the testicle by pushing on the scrotum (manual detorsion), but you'll still need surgery to prevent torsion from occurring again.
Surgery for testicular torsion is usually done under general anesthesia, which means you won't be conscious. The surgery generally doesn't require a stay in the hospital. During surgery, your doctor will:
- Make a small cut in your scrotum
- Untwist your spermatic cord, if necessary
- Stitch one or usually both testicles to the inside of the scrotum to prevent rotation
The sooner the testicle is untwisted, the greater the chance it can be saved. The success rate is about 95 percent when treatment occurs within six hours, but declines steadily to about 20 percent after 24 hours.
Testicular torsion in newborns and infants
Testicular torsion may occur in newborns and infants, though it's rare. The infant's testicle may be hard, swollen or a darker color. Ultrasound may not detect reduced blood flow to the infant's scrotum, so surgery may be needed to confirm testicular torsion.
Treatment for testicular torsion in infants is controversial. If a boy is born with signs and symptoms of testicular torsion, it may be too late for emergency surgery to help. In some cases, the doctor may recommend a later, nonemergency surgery. But emergency surgery can sometimes save all or part of the testicle and can prevent torsion in the infant's other testicle. Treating testicular torsion in infants may prevent future problems with male hormone production and with fathering children.
Mar. 07, 2012
- Barthold JS. Abnormalities of the testes and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/booksS/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6911-9..C2009-1-60786-3--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6911-9&uniqId=314388803-2. Accessed Jan. 24, 2012.
- Somani BK, et al. Testicular torsion. BMJ. 2010;341:c3213.
- Cubillos J, et al. Familial testicular torsion. Journal of Urology. 2011;185:2469.
- Tiemstra JD. Evaluation of scrotal masses. American Family Physician. 2008;78:1165.
- Snyder HM, et al. In utero/neonatal torsion: Observation versus prompt exploration. Journal of Urology. 2010;183:1675.
- Roth CC, et al. Salvage of bilateral asynchronous perinatal testicular torsion. Journal of Urology. 2011;185:2464.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 28, 2012.
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