Pronounced: sperm-a-TOE-sell-ek-toe-meEn Español (Spanish Version)
Spermatocelectomy is a procedure to remove a large or painful spermatocele in men. A spermatocele is a fluid-filled cyst. It is found in the epididymis, which is a tube-like structure that stores sperm. The epididymis is located near the testicles.
Male Anatomy: Penis, Testicle, Scrotum, Epididymis
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Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have spermatocelectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
- Spermatocele occurring again
- Damage to the epididymis (risk of infertility)
- Nerve injury or damage to surrounding tissue or structures
- Reaction to the anesthesia (eg, light-headedness, low blood pressure, wheezing)
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may do the following:
- Physical exam, blood and urine tests, and imaging tests
- Discuss with you the type of anesthesia that will be used and the potential risks
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners, like warfarin (Coumadin)
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
Other things to keep in mind before the procedure:
- Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
- If instructed by your doctor, do not eat for eight hours before the procedure.
The procedure is done under local or general anesthesia. You will be asleep or sedated. You will not feel any pain.
Description of Procedure
You will be given medicines and fluids by IV (through needles placed in your arm). Once you are asleep or sedated, the doctor will make a small incision in your scrotum (the sac-like pouch that holds the testicles). He will locate the epididymis. Next, he will locate and remove the spermatocele from the epididymis. Absorbable sutures will be used to close the area.
How Long Will It Take?
Less than one hour
How Much Will It Hurt?
You will not feel any pain during the procedure. Ask your doctor about medicine to help with pain after the procedure.
At the Care Center
After the procedure, the staff may provide the following care:
- Pain medicines and IV fluids
- Ice pack
- Scrotum support, like a jock strap
You will be able to leave the hospital when you have recovered from the anesthesia and can walk.
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Take pain medicine as directed.
- Swelling and soreness is normal. Apply ice packs to the area. Use rolled towels to elevate the area when you are in bed. Also, your doctor may recommend that you wear snug-fitting underwear or a jock strap for a few days.
- Avoid difficult activity for 2-3 weeks.
- Keep bandages on for two days.
- Do not drive or have sex until your doctor says it is safe to do so.
After two days, keep the incision site clean:
- Clean the incision site with lukewarm water and mild soap.
- Use a soft wash cloth to gently wipe the incision area.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
- See your doctor for follow-up.
American Family Physician
American Urological Association
Canadian Urological Association
Mayo Clinic. Spermatocele. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/spermatocele/DS00619/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs. Updated January 21, 2010. Accessed August 18, 2010.
Sandlow J, Winfield H, Goldstein M. Surgery of the scrotum and seminal vesicles. In: Wein: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier. 2007; chap 34.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
Last reviewed September 2010 by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last updated Updated: 6/6/2011
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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