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What is testicular torsion?

Testicular torsion is an urgent medical condition that requires prompt intervention, occurring when a testicle within the scrotum suddenly rotates, causing the spermatic cord to twist. This twisting blocks the normal blood flow to the testicle, which can quickly lead to testicular damage and permanent loss of its function if not treated in a timely manner. Testicular torsion most commonly occurs in adolescents but can affect men of all ages.


The diagnosis of testicular torsion is usually based on symptoms and physical examination. Symptoms include sudden, severe pain in the scrotum, swelling, redness, and an elevated position of the testis in the scrotum. Ultrasound, especially Doppler ultrasound, is sometimes used, which can show reduced blood flow in the affected testis. However, due to the urgency of the situation, doctors often opt for direct surgical intervention without delay to avoid permanent damage.


The treatment for testicular torsion is primarily surgical and should be carried out as soon as possible. The surgical procedure, known as orchiopexy, involves untwisting the testis and securing both testicles within the scrotum to prevent future torsion. The operation is usually performed under general anesthesia and is brief. Speed of response is crucial; ideally, the surgery should be performed within six hours of the onset of symptoms to maximize the preservation of testicular function.
After surgery, the patient is usually advised to rest, take pain relievers to ease discomfort, and undergo regular follow-up examinations. The survival and function of the testis depend on how quickly symptoms are responded to and the effectiveness of the surgical intervention.