My Orchidectomy

By Sarah, August 1997

This account has been included on this web site as my own personal experience which may be helpful to anyone who is considering having a bilateral orchidectomy and my aim is to simply describe in my own words what it was actually like to have this done. In my case the operation was carried out in Leicester Nuffield hospital (UK) under local anaesthesia which was how I chose to have it done. Anyone wishing to delve in to the more medical aspects of this procedure can refer to other information provided on this web site.

My first visit to Leicester was on the Monday of the week and to the Bupa hospital there where I had made an appointment to see the surgeon Mr Terry. The appointment went well, lasting about twenty minutes and as well as inspecting the pre-surgery area I was asked a few basic questions concerning my attitude to living full time as a woman, my family and my partner. It was also stated clearly that this procedure is not reversible. Mr Terry came across as being friendly, was satisfied that I was making the right decision for myself and also complimented me on my appearance. I was anxious to have the surgery as soon as possible and was glad to find that a space was available in his diary only two days hence.

On the evening before the operation myself and my partner again drove the 250 mile journey from our home city and arrived at the hotel where we had booked a room for the night. I was feeling very relaxed that evening and had no fears of what was about to happen to me even though this was my first visit to a hospital for elective surgery. I remembered having my appendix out when I was twelve but this was a very different adult experience and one which would pave the way to having the big one some time next year. The whole situation seemed a bit dreamy, the fact that we were here in an expensive hotel and the reason was because of my operation tomorrow. We joked about things and counted down the hours. This time tomorrow 'they' will be gone. It also seemed strange that I have had this part of anatomy for 34 years but I was confident that I would not miss them.

In the morning I chose a light breakfast. We got up at 6 a.m. and I ate some cold rice pudding and had a coffee. I had a shower and put on light make-up but it was not necessary to remove the make-up for the operation. I had previously epilated my legs and shaved all hair on my genitals so as not to have the added trauma of having the surgery area shaved on the day by a nurse who may have not done a good job of it or slipped with the razor. Prior to leaving the hotel at 7 a.m. I took two Temazepam sedative tablets. I was worried that they might make me light headed and travel sick. My partner drove and we got to the hospital safely just before 8 a.m. I was feeling a bit more nervous now but calm too.

We were shown to my room by an efficient porter who did not have a clue why I was here and did not realise that I was TS because I pass very well. Soon several nurses came in to say hello and I was allowed to change into the surgical gown and then settle in bed. I rested there in the pleasant room and nodded off while we waited. My partner stayed next to me relaxing in an arm chair and held my hand. The sedative had made me very sleepy but I was also fully aware of what was happening. The nurses had said I would be taken to surgery at 10 a.m. but they arrived at 9.30 and I was wheeled off for the snip. I was glad I had been to the wash room earlier and emptied my bladder. I felt quite emotional leaving the room and being on my own without my partner with me. I felt so secure with her but I knew this was only a small simple operation and thought about being back with her soon.

I was taken up in the lift and wheeled into a cold clinical theatre where some other nurses greeted me. I was told that the surgery room was always kept cool but they covered my feet up to keep me warm. I was moved across onto a narrow bed ready for the operation where I lay for several minutes while Mr Terry got ready to operate. The nurse was nice and asked a few questions as well as frequently informing me of what they were doing while I was waiting. Above me were a mass of large twisted metal bars with massive lights on the ends of them, likened to some dreamy fairground attraction or the inside of some alien space ship. Soon a nurse came along and swabbed my abdomen and legs with Betadine which was very cold as she said it would be. A large cold plastic pad was placed on my left leg which was something to do with the diathermy unit that would be used to cauterise the cuts. Then she placed various pieces of waterproof sheeting around the area to be worked on which had slightly adhesive strips on them so that they would not fall off.

Mr Terry greeted me and asked if I was feeling all right and then I was given injections. He explained each one and what it would feel like before he did them. Firstly one into the left spermatic cord above the scrotum. There was a sharp sore prick as it went in followed by a slightly unpleasant dull pain as it arrived at the cord. This lasted for about 3 seconds. Then he did the other side; again the sharp prick but not so much pain on arriving at the cord. It lasted for about 1-2 seconds. The final injection in this area was in the centre of the scrotal sac which was a sore burning feeling as it went in but did not last long. Mr Terry then left the room for a few minutes while the injected anaesthetic was allowed to take affect. During this time an antibiotic injection was given in my right upper leg which hurt a lot more than the others had. A few minutes passed, further friendly chatting with the nurse who explained they were all hungry as they had not had breakfast yet, then Mr Terry returned to do the operation.

My scrotum did not feel numb but it became obvious that it was as he began to make the 2cm long incision in the middle. I had not requested to watch but had previously been informed in detail of the proceedings. It seemed to me that he was using some sort of laser torch to burn open the opening as I could feel him moving slowly down the incision. I could see puffs of smoke and could smell burning flesh but it was not unpleasant and the only feeling I got was an occasional warm sensation in the area where he was working. I did also feel the occasional trickle of fluid running from the cut. My partner later explained that he had probably already cut the hole with a surgical blade and I had not felt it. He would then have used the diathermy unit to burn around the opening to seal it.

The next stage of the operation was to isolate the spermatic cords/arteries and clamp them. This was probably the most unpleasant part of the operation. I could feel the cords where they passed away from the scrotal area into my lower body being tugged. This was not painful but felt uncomfortable for a short while. I could hear the clamps being attached, snipping and burning of the cords. He then said that he was about to stitch me up. I had not felt him remove the testicles but I think must have done so shortly after clamping the cords. It had all been so very quick. Stitching was a very speedy process. I felt the occasional dull prick as some of this work was done and more so, the pulling as he tightened them before cutting them off.

He explained that the stitches would need no attention as they dissolve. He also said I might get some bruising in the area but not to worry. Then he announced the operation completed as nurses removed the various sheeting from me. As the sticky sheets were peeled off I was glad I had already epilated my legs as it could have been painful, the sheets sticking to my leg hair. I moved across to my bed and was covered in the warm blankets. As I moved across I saw a large stain of brown Betadine on the operating table with some blood. I was slightly tearful as I was wheeled out of the theatre, several happy faces waved goodbye and I knew I was going to be all right now.

The journey back to my room was short but I struggled to hold back my tears, finally arriving back I grabbed my partners hand and cried for a while. I was happy to be back with her and also emotional about having had the operation done and not having to worry about having those male parts ever again. I was relieved and happy. The nurses left the room promptly and I was allowed to rest for a few hours and talk with my partner about the experience. During this time I soon felt well enough to have some tea and sandwiches which were provided. Later I went to the wash room and also saw the area which was red and swollen but not too painful. It actually looked like they were still in there somewhere but I knew that when the swelling goes down it will be obvious that they are gone.

Later we had more tea and I was given antibiotics, pain killers and a Voltarol suppository. I was also provided with dressing and padding to protect the operation area. Mr Terry appeared during this time to see if all was well and check for bleeding. He wished me well and offered his services in the future if I felt I needed any more surgery by him. We eventually left the hospital at 3.30 p.m. and travelled back through Leicester in the rain as the weather had changed. The journey back seemed quick and was not unpleasant as I could feel no pain. My partner made sure I was well looked after and gave me pain killers as and when necessary as a precaution. I slept very well the first night after surgery and although a little stiff and aching the next day felt quite well and with no regrets about the operation. Over a time scale of about two weeks the stitches began to dissolve and itch slightly where they had become ingrown with the scrotal skin. My partner carefully removed them at the right time and also regularly swabbed the area with Betadine. There were also other stitches within the scrotal sac which are noticeable by feeling them through the skin. These eventually dissolve. The swelling and slight bruising went down too and after a month all that remained was an almost invisible neat scar. It was necessary in my case to have a week's course of antibiotics prescribed by my doctor as I was afflicted with a minor bacterial infection in the outer scar area during the healing process. At the time of writing this account for this web site I am three months after this operation, have no regrets and the lack of testosterone has enabled my hormone treatment to work un-opposed which has caused rapid feminisation and has been of great benefit to my mental well being too. I am very happy.

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