Dr. Reed, Am a transgendered woman. Is orchiectomy painful? How easy is the recovery? Sheila
We usually do a few orchiectomies every week at the Reed Centre for Transgender Surgery. Unless you are having a simultaneous vaginoplasty, orchiectomies are done under local with IV conscious sedation. This means you are awake but like you had 3 martinis. If you have a friend or spouse, they are welcome to be with you.
First we apply a skin numbing cream, wait 15 minutes, then injection with local, wait 12 minutes, then slowly do the skin prep and drape you. We also have plenty of local anesthesia on the back table in case you need a little touch up. The orchiectomy in itself takes about 15 minutes.
The anesthetic is long acting so you should still be under the protection of local for about 3 to 4 hours. By that time you’ll be in a nearby hotel room or at home. You will not be able to drive for 24 hours as medically-legally you are intoxicated, You best friend to keep you almost pain free is a compressive dressing which we apply (should stay on for a good 2 days), and a generous amount of bed rest.
Sutures will either melt out or be removed in 14 days.
You’ll reduce your estrogen dosage typically by 1/3rd and stop the Spironolactone or aldactone (testosterone blocker).
Harold M. Reed, M.D.
The Reed Centre for Transgender Surgery – Miami