8 Facts Every Man Should Know About Testicular Torsion
Typically, a doctor will suspect testicular torsion based on symptoms and a quick medical exam. Often, instead of wasting time doing x-rays, ultrasounds, or other tests, surgery will be recommended right away. This makes sense for two reasons: First, any delay could result in the loss of the testicle and second, surgery is the best way to see exactly what's going on inside the scrotum. If an ultrasound machine is close by, an ultrasound may be done (as long as it can be done quickly), especially if there is any question about the diagnosis or if the symptoms aren't quite typical.
There is one way (and one way only) to treat testicular torsion: surgery. Sometimes, if the planets align and you've got a skilled doctor and a cooperative testicle, the testicle can be delicately untwisted manually. Even in that case, though, surgery will still be necessary. Why? Once a testicle twists, it's likely to do so again. To prevent retwisting, the surgeon will "tether" the testicles (after untwisting them, of course) using a few stitches. Notice that we said "testicles." Both testicles will be surgically tethered, even though only one was twisted. This helps prevent twisting in the other testicle.
In order to save the testicle, it's best if surgery can be performed within six hours. As time passes, the chances of saving the testicle become slimmer and slimmer. If the testicle has already died, surgery will still be necessary to remove the testicle and to tether the other one.
Just as with most other surgeries, there will be some pain involved in the recovery process. However, the pain is typically quite bearable, especially compared to the pain of the actual torsion itself. Oral pain medications are usually quite sufficient and are generally only needed for a few days at most.
After a man has surgery for testicular torsion, he'll need to take it easy for a few days. Generally, he can go back to work after a few days off. Exercise or strenuous working will have to wait a bit longer, though (usually, a few weeks).