For most testicular cancers, your doctor will recommend surgery. The type of surgery you have will depend on how advanced your cancer is.
- Radical Inguinal Orchiectomy
Most men will have the affected testicle removed. This procedure is called a radical inguinal orchiectomy. The surgeon makes an incision in your groin and removes the entire testicle and spermatic cord. Because the spermatic cord can serve as a pathway for cancer cells to quickly travel to other parts of the body, it is tied off during surgery.
- Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection
In more advanced stages of testicular cancer, surgery to remove lymph nodes in the groin and abdomen will be performed. This procedure is called retroperitoneal lymph node dissection and usually involves making a large incision in your abdomen.
Damage to the nerves that control ejaculation can occur during removal of some lymph nodes, resulting in infertility. Your ability to have an erection is not affected, but the sperm travel into the bladder rather than leaving the body.
- Nerve Sparing Surgery
A newer surgical technique called nerve-sparing surgery may be an option for you. This surgery is designed to limit the damage to the nerves surrounding the lymph nodes and to protect your ability to ejaculate.