August 16th, 2016
Reconstructive surgeries like testicular prostheses or testicular implant are extremely important in young children or adolescents who have lost their testicles due to disease or injury. Although, these implants are non-functional, but research indicates that timely surgery can helps a great deal in maintaining a normal body-image of self. Besides, such procedures also helps in decreasing the negative psychological consequences of losing testicles at an early age.
The history of development of testicular implant is fairly interesting. A number of materials have been tried and tested over the years. Most notable ones are, polyurethane, rubber, glass plastic, metal and silicone. Some commonly used types of penile implants are:
1. The Coloplast (Formally Mentor) Or Saline Filled Testicular Prosthesis:
Among three types of testicular implant available, this is the only one approved by FDA. This implant is same as that of real testicles in terms of shape, weight and softness. In addition, these implants are also available in different sizes, such as extra-small, small, medium and large. The Coloplast implants are made up of molded silicone elastomer shell that is invisible on the x-ray examination. Just before the implantation, the device is filled with sterile solution of saline via injection. The injection site is self-sealing. A silicone elastomer tab is located on the other side of device that allows suturing and setting the implant in the right position.
2. The Coloplast (Formally Mentor) Soft-Solid Testicular Prosthesis:
This type of testicular implant are available in limited countries outside of USA, as the device is not FDA-Cleared. It is filled with cured silicone elastomer, and is also available in extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large sizes. It is similar to real testicles but not exactly the same.
3. Sientra’s (Formally Silimed) Silicone Elastomer Implant Aka Oval Carving Block
These implants are also very frequently used across the Unites States. Silicone implants are made up of thin, smooth surfaced and soft silicone elastomer which is mechanically and chemically resistant. The shape and density is designed to make it nearer to the actual testicles. It is available in five different sizes and is also highly safe to use. These implants are mainly intended to be used for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons in individuals who are born without testicles or those who have their testicles removed due to atrophy or cancer.
According to a study reported in the Translational Andrology and Urology Journal (2), investigators suggested that approximately 1,000 silicone penile implant surgeries are performed across the US.
Testicular implantation is a surgical procedure, which requires incision and caution like all other surgeries. Likewise, the procedure is also associated with certain risks such as infection, fluid accumulation, bleeding and hematoma. But fortunately, the risk of adverse effects or complications are not very common with testicular implantation. In some cases, small amount of fluid or blood is accumulated, which is reabsorbed by the body.
Patient will feel discomfort during the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery and will have to keep scrotum bandaged for a couple of days. There will be some swelling and tenderness in the scrotum (which is normal and resolves spontaneously), but it won’t affect urination. Usually person can resume routine activities after a week or within 10 days, however, recovery time can vary from person to person. If there is excessive inflammation or fever, then patient must consult to doctor immediately.
Various clinical studies indicates that testicular implant can help in curbing the negative effects of lost testicles on the physical and emotional health.
1. Sharma, N., Bajpai, M., & Panda, S. S. (2014). Testicular Prosthesis in Paediatric Urology: Current Concepts and Available Alternatives. Journal of Progress in Paediatric Urology, 17(1).
2. Dieckmann, K. P., Anheuser, P., Schmidt, S., Soyka-Hundt, B., Pichlmeier, U., Schriefer, P., … & Ruf, C. G. (2015). Testicular prostheses in patients with testicular cancer-acceptance rate and patient satisfaction. BMC urology, 15(1), 1.
3. Kogan, S. (2014). The clinical utility of testicular prosthesis placement in children with genital and testicular disorders. Translational andrology and urology, 3(4), 391
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