Some men have a higher risk for this condition because their scrotums have inadequate connective tissue. This condition also occurs when testicular trauma occurs, especially when the testicle swells significantly. If a man exercises very strenuously, this can also lead to testicular torsion. In some cases, a physician cannot find the exact cause of the torsion.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common testicular torsion symptoms include one-sided swelling of the scrotum, light-headedness, sudden severe pain in one testicle, and nausea or vomiting. You might also notice blood in your semen or the formation of a lump in the affected testicle.
A health professional makes a diagnosis of this condition based on an examination of the testicles and scrotum. If the physician notes one enlarged testicle with significant swelling, this indicates the presence of testicular torsion. eMedicine indicates that this condition is one of the true urologic emergencies that men experience, so it is important to seek help immediately when you experience testicular torsion symptoms. Do not delay medical care due to fear or embarrassment, as an early diagnosis leads to the best outcome. Have someone drive you to the emergency room or call your local emergency services number – 911 in many U.S. areas – for immediate attention.
Most men with this condition have surgery as soon as a diagnosis is made. During the surgery, a surgeon might anchor the non-affected testicle to reduce the risk of testicular torsion in the future. In most cases, the affected testicle can be saved as long as the surgery to treat the problem starts within six hours. This is because loss of blood flow for longer than six hours can lead to permanent testicle damage. As with any surgery, an operation to correct this problem does have risks. Patients can experience anesthesia complications, infection and blood clots. Those who have pre-existing medical conditions may also develop other problems as a result of having surgery.
If the testicle remains without blood flow for more than six hours, a surgeon may need to remove the testicle. Even if the surgery is performed within six hours, the patient may lose function in the affected testicle. In some cases, the testicle tissue will atrophy – shrink – weeks or months after the surgical correction. If blood flow is restricted for a long time, the patient is also at an increased risk for infection. If you experience any unusual symptoms or pain, contact your physician for medical advice.
eMedicine: Testicular Torsion
Mayo Clinic: Testicular Torsion
MedlinePlus: Testicular Torsion
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