Prosthetic Testicle

A testicular prosthesis is an implant that goes in an empty scrotum. You may choose to get one if you didn’t have a testicle at birth or lost a testicle due to an injury or medical condition. It doesn’t function like a real testicle. Some people get it to improve their appearance. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and you should feel better after a week.


What is a prosthetic testicle?

A prosthetic device is a type of prosthesis. A prosthesis is an artificial (human-made) device that replaces a body part. A prosthetic testicle replaces a testicle that’s missing from birth or that healthcare providers removed to treat an injury or disease (orchiectomy). It fills the empty space in your scrotum. The scrotum is the sac behind your penis that normally holds your testicles.

A prosthetic testicle doesn’t have any of the functions of a testicle — it doesn’t make reproductive cells (sperm) or testosterone. Many people request a prosthetic testicle if they had a testicle at birth, but lost it later in life. People who didn’t have a testicle at birth don’t request a prosthetic testicle as often.

Other names for prosthetic testicles include:

  • Prosthetic testes.
  • Testicular prosthesis.
  • Testicular implants.
  • Testicle implants.
  • Transplant testicles.
  • Artificial testicles.
  • Fake testicles.

What is the point of a prosthetic testicle?

Healthcare providers typically only use testicular prostheses to improve appearance and calm psychological fears. You don’t need a prosthetic testicle if you’re missing a testicle. The absence of a testicle won’t affect your ability to get and maintain an erection or have penetrative sexual intercourse. However, many people choose to get a prosthetic testicle to boost their self-image.

Can you get a metal testicle?

Testicular prostheses have been in use since the 1940s. In the past, prosthetic testicles consisted of various materials, including vitallium, which is a metal alloy of cobalt, chromium and molybdenum. Now, the standard prosthetic testicle consists of silicone rubber, which feels more natural. Silicone gel or salt water (saline) fills the prosthetic testicle.

What does an artificial testicle look like?

Most prosthetic testicles look like translucent or clear eggs. They have a similar weight, shape and feel to a testicle. They also come in different sizes so your healthcare provider can make a good match for your body.

What are the characteristics of a good testicular prosthesis?

The ideal prosthetic testicle should:

  • Have no chemical reactivity. Your body may react to some of the materials that make up the prosthesis and eventually break down.
  • Not cause inflammation. Your immune system may attack the prosthesis and cause inflammation in the surrounding tissue.
  • Resist mechanical stress. Your implant shouldn’t put any pressure or force on your scrotum or surrounding tissue.
  • Be sterile. Sterile implants reduce your risk of developing an infection.
  • Be able to take on and hold the correct shape. They should look natural and make the feel and any movement virtually unnoticeable.
  • Be comfortable. Testicular prostheses shouldn’t disrupt your daily life. They shouldn’t cause discomfort when you sit, walk, run or work out.

What conditions are treated with a testicular prosthesis?

There are several reasons why you might be missing a testicle. These may include:

You may also choose to get testicular prostheses as part of gender confirmation surgery.


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Procedure Details

How do you replace a missing testicle?

When you decide to get a prosthetic testicle, it’s important to find a urologist who specializes in testicular prosthesis implantation. A urologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect your urinary and reproductive systems. They’ll answer all of your questions and detail the procedure beforehand.

In general, the procedure to implant a testicular prosthesis involves the following:

  • An anesthesiologist will give you general or local anesthesia. General anesthesia affects your whole body. You’ll be asleep and won’t feel any pain during the procedure. Local anesthesia numbs your scrotum and the surrounding areas.
  • The urologist will use a sharp knife (scalpel) to make a cut (incision) in the lower part of your groin or the upper part of your scrotum.
  • They’ll create a pouch for the prosthetic testicle in your scrotum.
  • They’ll sew the implant into place in the correct position in your scrotum.
  • Finally, they’ll use stitches (sutures) to close the incision.

Testicular prosthesis implantation is a relatively simple procedure. It usually takes less than an hour. It’s typically an outpatient procedure. That means you can go home after the procedure is complete. But you should have a friend or family member drive you home, especially if you receive general anesthesia.

At what age can you get a prosthetic testicle?

If your child didn’t have a testicle at birth or a provider had to remove one shortly after birth, they can get a prosthetic testicle between the ages of 1 and 3.

Risks / Benefits

What are the potential benefits of prosthetic testicles?

There are many benefits to testicular prostheses:

  • Durability. It’s possible for a prosthetic testicle to last a lifetime.
  • Safety. Testicular prosthesis implantation is a relatively safe procedure. There’s a low risk of complications or side effects.
  • Confidence. A testicular prosthesis can boost your self-esteem and improve your body image.


What are the risks or complications of prosthetic testicles?

Testicular prosthesis implantation surgery risks include:

  • Infection.
  • Pooling of blood in your scrotum (hematoma).
  • Dissatisfaction with how you look after surgery.
  • Scarring around the implant.
  • The prosthesis shifts out of position.
  • The prosthesis ruptures or leaks.
  • Your body expels the prosthesis (prosthetic expulsion). This usually happens with an infected testicular prosthesis.

Who is at high risk of complications from testicular prosthesis implantation?

There are always risks when you have a medical procedure. But if you have certain conditions before a testicular prosthesis implantation, you may have a higher chance of developing complications. Conditions that may put you at a higher risk include:

  • Having diabetes or a suppressed immune system. This can increase your risk of infection.
  • Having an existing infection anywhere in your body.
  • Previous surgery on your scrotum.

Recovery and Outlook

How long will it take for me to feel better after testicular prosthesis implantation surgery?

After your procedure, you’ll need a little time to recover. After testicular prosthesis implantation, you may expect:

  • Pain, discomfort or tenderness in your scrotum or the surrounding areas for at least the first 24 to 48 hours. A healthcare provider will prescribe pain medication as needed.
  • Your bandages will remain in place for at least a few days.
  • You should be able to urinate (pee) comfortably.
  • You may need supportive garments for your scrotum.
  • A provider may prescribe antibiotics, especially if you have a high risk of infection.
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights, riding a bicycle or motorcycle and any strenuous physical activity for about a month following surgery.

When can I have sex after testicular prosthesis implantation surgery?

It’s a good idea to wait a week or two to masturbate or have sexual intercourse after testicular prosthesis implantation surgery.


What is the outlook for someone with a testicular prosthesis?

There have been some concerns about the development of cancer and connective tissue diseases from the use of silicone implants. These concerns come from the use of silicone breast implants.

Generally, the prostheses that healthcare providers use for testicular prosthesis implantation are either a silicone block (hard silicone throughout) or contain saline. The risks of silicone gel-filled breast implants aren’t a concern for a prosthetic testicle. Healthcare providers and medical researchers also haven’t found a link between testicular prostheses and connective tissue diseases.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what type of implant they recommend for your procedure and any associated risks with that type of implant.

When To Call the Doctor

When should I call my healthcare provider?

Call a healthcare provider if you:

  • Develop severe pain.
  • Have problems peeing.
  • Have heavy bleeding or pus coming from your incision.
  • Lose feeling or sensation in your scrotum.
  • Have signs of an infection, including fever, chills or discoloration in the area.
  • Have problems getting or maintaining an erection.

Additional Common Questions

How much is a prosthetic testicle?

It depends. The price varies between healthcare providers, medical facilities and healthcare coverage. Talk to a provider to better understand the potential cost of a testicular prosthesis.

Does insurance cover a prosthetic testicle?

It depends on your medical coverage. In many cases, insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a prosthetic testicle because the procedure won’t restore function.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Getting a prosthetic testicle is a personal decision. Many people decide to get a prosthetic testicle following an orchiectomy to help restore their self-image. Talk to a healthcare provider. They can answer your questions and offer guidance about your concerns. They can also tell you more about the outcomes and risks.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed on 04/22/2024.

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