An epididymal cyst (spermatocele) is a painless, fluid-filled cyst in the long, tightly coiled tube that lies above and behind each testicle. The fluid in the cyst may contain sperm that are no longer alive.
Epididymal cysts are benign and harmless fluid-filled swellings in the drainage tubes of the testicles.
However if they grow to a large size, they may cause discomfort, difficulty walking, sexual difficulties etc. When epididymal cysts start to interfere with daily activities, there may be a case for their removal.
If you leave things as they are, the cyst will most probably over time get bigger. Sometimes this takes years. You can afford to wait and see if you wish. If the fluid from the cyst is drawn out using a needle, the fluid will build up again in a month or two. There is no injection treatment that is guaranteed to work.
Once asleep, a cut is made in the scrotal skin over the cyst, and the cyst removed or ‘shelled out’, with minimal disturbance to the other scrotal structures. After the cyst has been removed, the cut in the skin is closed with dissolvable stitches.
Local anaesthetic is injected into the wound at the end of the procedure, making the whole area numb for up to 6 hours or more. There may be some discomfort on moving. Simple painkilling tablets should easily control this discomfort.
The procedure is usually performed as a day-case, and you will therefore be able to go home as long as you have someone to collect you and look after you at home.
What should I do after my procedure and when can I go back to work/resume normal activities?
You will not be able to drive for 24 hours after your anaesthetic, so you will need someone to come and collect you. You can resume most normal activities the following day but we would recommend that you do not drive your car for 2 days and refrain from sporting activities for 2 weeks. The stitches will dissolve in time. You may find it more comfortable to wear tighter briefs to support the scrotum rather than boxer shorts.
Who can I contact if there is a problem?
If there are any concerns after the operation you should contact the hospital who will arrange for one of the London Men’s Clinic team to contact you.
What follow-up will I have?
One of the London Men’s Clinic team will see you approximately 2-4 weeks after the operation to ensure that all is well and the wound has healed.DOWNLOAD EPIDIDYMAL CYST PDF
The team at London Men’s Clinic offer a multidisciplinary approach in the management of men presenting with epididymal cysts with close collaboration with dermatologists, pathologists and sexual health physicians. Complex cases are discussed jointly with experts in each field to ensure patients are provided with the highest standard of care.