These can be surgically removed if they are causing pain. They do not need treatment if they are small or cause no significant symptoms.
What are epididymal cysts?
Epididymal cysts are benign swellings or collections of fluid in the epididymis alongside your testicle (the sperm-collecting tubes around the top of men’s testicles). These can be surgically removed if they are causing pain. Spermatoceles, small cysts possibly formed from blocked sperm ducts, are treated in the same way. Such cysts are quite common and not harmful. They do not need treatment if they are small or cause no significant symptoms.
Your BUA consultant will examine you and will palpate (feel) the mass. He may also shine a light through your scrotum. The light will indicate whether the mass is fluid-filled or solid. You may be offered a scan to determine the exact nature of your cyst. This can usually be done at the BUA clinic, but occasionally you may be sent for further imaging at the Spire or Nuffield hospitals. The results of the examination and images will guide your consultant to offer suitable treatment.
The results of the examination and images will guide your consultant to offer suitable treatment.
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The following are some of the options that you may be offered:
- Observation – no intervention if your cyst is small or does not bother you.
- Aspiration (drainage) with a needle – this removes the fluid but it will re-accumulate very quickly and is not an effective curative treatment.
- Surgical removal – Large or painful cysts can be removed surgically; this is a simple procedure where a small incicion (cut) is made into the skin over the cyst. The cyst is removed and the cut is stitched up. The cyst and the fluid will be examined in the laboratory. Your operation will most likely be done as a day case. This means that you come into hospital on the day of the operation and go home the same day. After surgery to remove the cyst, your testicle may feel slightly “bulkier” than it was before. Surgery to remove an epididymal cyst may affect your fertility.