Many have asked me questions about how I was castrated and
about my recovery. There will be some variations in you own experience
depending on which doctor performs you orchiectomy, but if your doctor knows
what he is doing then castration is a minor procedure which should not
require an overnight stay in any hospital. Even with a competent doctor
there is a small chance of serious complications, because there is always
that risk of something going wrong with any surgery or procedure. But
if you see a good doctor, then chances are the procedure will be only mildly
unpleasant and you will recover fairly rapidly.
Those who attempt any type of do-it-yourself castration will likely have a
vastly different experience. Because you are dealing with the genital
area, you will likely suffer serious or deadly bleeding, and the risk of
infection is very high. Those who seriously attempt self castration
often do not suceed, but usually end up seeking emergency treatment for
bleeding or infection. I should also mention that you will suffer
extreme pain without any anesthesia. I know almost nothing about tools
such as elastrators and burdizzos so I will not comment on these methods.
In 1999 I paid Dr. Spector $1600 for my orchiectomy. As of this time (2001)
Spector has raised his price to $2000. In addition you will spend money
on travel costs and lodging unless you live very close to your castration
doctor. Spector prescribed antibiotics for me which cost $54.
Overall I spent over $2600 for the procedure plus travel, one week at a bed
and breakfast, the antibiotics, and time taken off from work. Some
transsexuals have paid less for castration because being full time and on
hormones gave them more options, though they do spend more money on therapists
to get the recommendation letters for orchiectomy.
Anyone seeking castration soon learns that very few doctors are willing to
perform orchiectomies, and most doctors that do will require that the patient
first consult a therapist about their issues. Doctor Spector does not
require you to see any therapists. When I first saw Spector, he and I
discussed my issues and asked me why I was seeking castration to make sure I
really wanted this. Just before the procedure I signed a consent form
stating that I consented to the orchiectomy procedure, accepted infertility,
impotence, and the other effects, and realized that there was a small risk of
Dr. Spector gave me a prescription for one weeks worth of Cipro antibiotics
which I started to take two days before my surgery date and continued for
five days after. The dosage is two pills per day. I gave Dr.
Spector the phone number of a pharmacy only a few blocks away from my home
and picked them up there weeks before my surgery date.
When Dr. Spector did my orchiectomy he used an office in his own home with
was a bit cluttered and also contained a desk, a computer, and several
cabinets. I would have preferred a more sterile setting, but I didn't
know of anyone else who would castrate me and I really wanted to have this
done, so I went ahead with it anyway. Today the doctor operates his own
gender clinic a short distance from his home, so the setting may have
improved, but I have never seen this clinic.
The doctor does use common precautions for the surgery, such as the wearing
of gloves and sterilizing the surgical tools. Spector will ask you to
shave your genital area before your appointment, and he will apply betadine
on the area before he starts cutting.
Spector uses a local anesthetic for orchiectomy. I found the injections
to be more painful than ordinary vaccinations. First the doctor gave me
two injections in the lower abdominal area a couple of inches above the
genitalia, and I thought those were nasty until he gave me a third injection
through the bottom of the scrotum. Spector's nurse had to coach me
through that last one as if I were a woman in labor. Dr. Spector says
the anesthetics usually take effect in 20 minutes or so but some of us do
take longer. The doctor did not start cutting me until about 45 minutes
after the first shots, and he did give me two more injections to speed up the
effects, but I did not feel these shots at all.
SURGERY DURATION AND
My own procedure lasted about two hours from the time that Dr. Spector
started cutting. The doctor extracted my testicles through a vertical
incision in the center of my scrotum. This is a minor procedure, but it
must be done carefully because of the many blood vessels and the potential
Dr. Spector does offer to remove the scrotum at additional cost, but as much
as I hated that extra mass down there I declined because I wasn't sure if I
would need it for future SRS. Spector does not do SRS or penectomies.
Spector closed my incision with six or eight stitches, and then I walked the
three blocks back to my bed and breakfast to rest there for the
evening. The doctor requests his patients to return the day after for
follow up care to make sure that everything is healing OK and to give
instructions on aftercare. Spector does not charge any additional fee
for this aftercare. In fact I stayed in town for a whole week to save
money on airfare and the doctor examined me daily for five days at no extra
Spector drove me around downtown Philadelphia the day after my surgery, and I
let him drop me off at the Franklin Institute on the second day, after which
I walked a mile and a half back to the bed and breakfast. After that I
would see Dr. Spector in the morning and then become just another tourist in
Most patients eventually have a doctor in their home town remove their
stitches, and some have removed their own stitches. Because I stayed in
town longer, Spector himself was able to remove my stitches on the fourth and
fifth days. The doctor drove me to the airport for my flight home on
the fifth day.
I returned to work six days after my surgery. I still had some
discomfort in the genital area, but this improved with each passing
day. What really bothered me was that the doctor instructed me to keep
the area dry and I did not get to shower for ten days after the
surgery. My goodness, the area did smell! I have heard of some
patients washing the area anyways because they were concerned about
About three weeks after the procedure the incision had closed up entirely and
left a barely discernable scar along the center of my scrotum.
I have heard of many patients being active even more quickly than I, and the
woman at the bed and breakfast told me of one person who walked many miles
back home the day after his surgery. Personally I think you deserve to
take it easy and rest for a few days after your surgery, and you should
definitely not do any heavy lifting for a while.
PAIN RELIEF DURING
Spector told me that most of his patients take only Tylenol or other other
the counter medications. I was one of his more sensitive patients and I
did receive three pain pills at no extra charge. I took one pill each
night before going to bed and got by on Tylenol during the day. If you
think you will need prescription pain relief, just ask.
TRAVEL AND LODGING
Airlines usually charge less if you book your flights several weeks or more
in advance and stay a whole week. My bed and breakfast cost $60 per
night, but my round trip plane tickets were only about $260. If I had
left Philadelphia sooner I would have paid the airlines more than $1000.
Spector will refer you to bed and breakfast places you can stay at. The
farther ahead you plan in advance, the better. You will be recovering
from a surgery and will want to stay at a bed and breakfast hosted by a
sympathetic person near Spector's office who will not judge you for what you
If you feel up to it there are many tourist and historical attractions in
downtown Philadelphia. Someone advised me against renting a car, and
I'm glad I heeded their advice because parking is almost impossible and the
traffic I am used to at home does not compare with that of downtown
Philadelphia. I took a cab from the airport to the downtown, and
Spector drove me back to the airport one week later.
to castration main page