Testicular torsion repair

Testicular torsion repair is surgery to untangle the twisted spermatic cord that is causing testicular torsion.


Testicular torsion is a problem most often encountered by boys at early puberty or just after birth, but it can occur at any age. Torsion occurs when the testicle turns or spins on the axis of its blood supply, blocking the flow of blood into the testicle.

If prolonged, this causes tissue death in the testicle, resulting in pain, swelling, and possible testicular damage. Approximately 1 in 4,000 males are affected.

General anesthesia is generally used in testicular torsion repair. An incision is made in the scrotum, the testicle is uncoiled, and sutures are placed to keep the testis from rotating again. The other unaffected testicle is also secured because the unaffected side is at increased risk for torsion at a later date.

Testicular torsion is considered an emergency. Surgery is usually required, and it should be performed within 4 to 6 hours of onset of symptoms to save the testicle.

Risks for any anesthesia are:

  • Reactions to medications  
  • Problems breathing

Risks for any surgery are:

  • Bleeding  
  • Infection

Call your doctor if excessive bleeding occurs at the surgical site, a general ill feeling occurs or signs of infection develop including fever, chills, muscle aches, and headache.

Expectations after surgery
If surgery is performed in time, complete recovery is expected. If one testicle has to be removed, the remaining healthy testicle should provide enough hormones for normal male maturation, sex life, and fertility.

After surgery, ice packs will relieve pain and swelling. A scrotal support may be worn for a week after surgery. Normal activity may be resumed gradually.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2012
by Dave R. Roger, M.D.

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