Exploration of the scrotum for suspected torsion of the testis

What is this?

This involves examination of the testis via a scrotal incision, untwisting of the affected testis and fixation of both testes in the scrotum to prevent twisting in the future

What alternatives are there?

Observation risks loss of the testis and may also cause reflex damage to the other, normal testis

What to expect before procedure

This procedure is usually performed following an emergency admission and is best carried out within 4 hours of the onset of symptoms. You will be asked not to eat or drink before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy.

What happens during the procedure?

Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. The surgeon will explore both your testicles through an incision in the scrotum. If twisting of the testicle is confirmed, the testicle will be untwisted and both testicles fixed in the scrotum to prevent recurrence of the twisting.

After the procedure

You may experience discomfort for a few days after the procedure but painkillers will be given to you to take home. Absorbable stitches are normally used which do not require removal. The average hospital stay is 2 days following emergency admission.

Potential side effects