Q: Dr. Eppley, I am seeking a testicular implant. I had hernia surgery over ten years ago that subsequently developed complications. As a result, it left one testicle which got atrophied. It has since basically disappeared. I would like more information on the procedure. I am not sure of a testicular implant would be covered under insurance or not.
A: A testicular implant is a fairly simple procedure done through a small incision in the scrotum. The original testicular sac would be identified and a soft silicone testicular implant that matches the normal testicle in size would be implanted into it. Other than some swelling there is no much recovery from it. It would be be similar to the recovery from a vasectomy surgery. Testicular implants are not usually covered by insurance since it does not provide or restore any medical function.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley, I have lost a testicle in my youth. I am 50 now and am tired of the embarrassment. My wife divorced me, said was tired of half of a man. Can you help?
A: Like many other body parts, implants are available for testicular replacement. An FDA-approved implant is available for testicular replacement/reconstruction and is a saline-filled implant, very much like a miniature saline breast implant. A testicular implant procedure is relatively routine and can last from 30 to 45 minutes, usually performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia as an outpatient operation. It has a quick recovery with minimal discomfort although there will be some scrotal swelling. It is important to know that testicular implants, like other medical implant devices, should not be considered lifetime devices. There is the chance, though minimal, that the body could have an adverse reaction to the implant, or that the implant may either rupture or leak (or both). Such events would require the implant to be removed Based on clinical studies of the saline-filled testicular implant, approximately 1 in 30 patients (3.3%) require resurgery within the first year to either remove or adjust the implant.
Dr. Barry Eppley