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NHS blunders led to 137 men losing a testicle in six years

A series of NHS blunders have caused 137 men to lose one of their testicles in the past six years, according to latest figures.

Some £2.8 million in compensation was dished out to those who were affected by the ‘devastating’ incidents – around £20,000 each.

The statistics, released by NHS Resolution – which is the litigation authority, revealed some of the most horrific cases that have occurred.

They include the case of an unidentified man who had his healthy testicle removed – rather than the cancerous one. 

Another saw his testicle become gangrenous and had to be cut out after reportedly being given the wrong treatment for torsion.

Some £2.8 million in compensation was dished out to those who were affected by the ‘devastating’ incidents – around £20,000 each

The figures, given to The Sun, prompted concerns by medical negligence lawyers about the long-term effects. 

Nicola Wainwright, of law firm Leigh Day, told the newspaper: ‘It is devastating, particularly if they are young and not yet in a long-term relationship.

‘They are embarrassed having to explain their injury to future partners.

‘It’s also a tragedy if they are hoping to have a family and are worried about their fertility.’

NHS Improvement said: ‘With incidents like this, our organisations examine what happened to understand what went wrong and identify how to improve their care.’

The NHS typically pays out around £20,000 when it admits it is at fault for leaving men as monorchid – the medical term for having just one testicle.

But payments for removing a man’s only healthy testicle in a surgical mix-up can be around £70,000 as the individual gets compensation for being left infertile.

Often the compensation figure includes a sum to pay for cosmetic surgery to provide the men with a false testicle. 

In 2013, a 48-year-old company director, revealed he was taking legal action against Salisbury District Hospital after he had a healthy testicle removed by mistake.

The unnamed man had gone into theatre expecting a cancerous testicle would be removed, but 40 minutes after the operation a doctor realised the blunder.

The healthy testicle was then frozen, while a plastic surgeon was rushed to the scene and tried to undo the damage. He said he went through ‘incredible stress and strain’.

The most common reason for payouts is when medics misdiagnose testicular torsion where the tubes inside the body get twisted cutting off the blood supply. 

The condition, which can happen after strenuous exercise, has to be diagnosed quickly as the testicle can be dead within a few hours.

Other claims result from the consequences of hernia operations where the blood supply to the testicle is accidentally cut off in the surgery.  


Rob Cornes, a male cancer nurse at the cancer charity Orchid, previously told MailOnline of the dangers.

He wrote: ‘Around 90 per cent of the male sex hormone testosterone, is produced by the testicles.

‘Testosterone is the hormone responsible for secondary male characteristics such as muscle, bone growth, hair pattern, deep voice and a general feeling of well-being in men.

‘It is also responsible for sperm growth. Having one testicle removed should not affect the overall testosterone levels, sex drive or ability to have an erection or fertility.

‘Providing that the remaining testicle is healthy, it should do the job of both.

‘If it is performed for testicular cancer and subsequent chemotherapy is needed, men will be advised to bank sperm as chemotherapy may cause temporary infertility.

‘Removal of both testicles will severely impact the level of testosterone produced and will

‘Men who lose both testicles are likely to have erection problems due to the reduced levels of testosterone. They will also be unable to father a child naturally.

‘When testosterone levels are minimal men will often experience a loss of libido, well-being and may experience lethargy, low mood and depression, weight gain and sometimes breast swelling.

‘In this situation testosterone replacement therapy will be needed. This can be administered in the form of injections, gels or patches but may take some weeks for levels to normalise.’