A testicular prosthesis is an artificial implant that placed in an empty scrotum. An implant can be used for men who are born without a testicle or those who have lost a testicle because of an injury or illness. The implant's purpose is only to improve appearance and calm psychological fears; it doesn't function like a real testicle.
A prosthesis is any artificial device used to replace a body part. For many people, the first type of prosthesis that probably pops into their mind is one for a missing leg or arm. However, there are other types of prosthesis available. When a male is either born without a testicle or must have one removed because of an injury or disease, a testicular prosthesis can be used to fill in the empty space in the scrotum. The scrotum is the sac that holds the testicles.
A prosthesis is used only to improve appearance and calm psychological fears. It doesn’t have any functions of a real testicle. More often than not, requests for a testicular prosthesis come from men who are born with a testicle and later lose it, rather than someone who's always been missing a testicle.
Testicular prostheses have been in use since the 1940s. In the past, they were made of a variety of materials. Now, they are mainly made of silicone rubber and are filled with either silicone gel or saline (salt water). A testicular prosthesis will have the weight, shape and feel similar to a normal testicle. It’s also available in different sizes so that a good match can be made to your body.
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There are several reasons that someone might be missing a testicle. A few possible reasons that you could be missing a testicle can include:
A testicular prosthesis may also be considered as a part of female-to-male gender reassignment surgery
The ideal testicular prosthesis should:
When you’re deciding to have this procedure, it’s important to find a surgeon who specializes in testicular prosthesis implantation. Talk to the surgeon about all of your questions and learn all of the details of the procedure beforehand.
In general, the procedure to implant a testicular prosthesis involves:
This procedure is usually performed as an outpatient surgery.
There are always risks when you have a medical procedure. However, if you have certain conditions before your procedure, you may have a higher chance of developing complications than those without medical conditions.
Medical conditions that could cause you to face a higher risk of complications can include:
There are several possible complications of testicular prosthesis implantation surgery, including:
After your procedure, you will need a little time to recover. A few things you can expect might include:
There have been concerns about cancer and connective tissue disease resulting from the use of silicone implants. This has been the case with some silicone breast implants. Generally, the prostheses used in this procedure are either a silicone block (hard silicone throughout) or saline-filled. For this reason, the risks stated above for silicone gel-filled breast implants are not a concern. Talk to your healthcare provider about the type of implant used in your procedure and any risks associated with that implant.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/26/2021.
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