Surgical castration is a procedure where the testes in a male are removed surgically, thereby resulting in permanent loss of sexual function. It is used in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, cancer of the testes as well as severe injury to the testes.
Surgical castration has been often carried out in history. It has been a form of punishment for rapists, homosexuals, as well as for prisoners of war. There has been a renewed demand in the recent past to introduce surgical castration in sexual offenders including rapists. However, most countries have given up surgical castration for habitual sexual offenders and opt for voluntary medical castration instead.
During surgical castration, a small incision is made in the scrotum under anesthesia and the testes are removed. Sometimes, prostheses are placed in the scrotum to replace the testes. Following surgical castration, due to removal of testes, the person cannot father any children. Due to lack of testosterone following the procedure, the person loses sexual drive. However, it has been observed that the sexual drive is not lost immediately in all those castrated. Also, the sexual drive can be restored by taking testosterone injection. Thus, surgical castration may not be the treatment of choice in habitual sexual offenders.
Side effects of the procedure include:
► Changes in physical appearance: The person loses body hair and the skin softens akin to that in females. The body weight may increase.
► Changes in organs: The calcium content of the bones may reduce; the hemoglobin levels in the blood may come down; proteins from the body may be lost.
► Psychological effects: Perhaps the most disastrous effects following surgical castration take place on the psychology of the person. The person may get depressed and even attempt suicide.
Latest Publications and Research on Surgical CastrationClinical activity of abiraterone acetate in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer progressing after enzalutamide. - Published by PubMed
Re: Axel Heidenreich, David Pfister. Treatment Decisions for Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer Progressing After Docetaxel Chemotherapy: The Role of Cabazitaxel in the Continuum of Care. Eur Urol 2012;62:1201-4. - Published by PubMed
Phase 2 Trial of Single-agent Everolimus in Chemotherapy-naive Patients with Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer (SAKK 08/08). - Published by PubMed
Lower Baseline Prostate-specific Antigen Is Associated With a Greater Overall Survival Benefit From Sipuleucel-T in the Immunotherapy for Prostate Adenocarcinoma Treatment (IMPACT) Trial. - Published by PubMed
Metabolic and toxicological considerations of newly approved prostate cancer drugs. - Published by PubMed