Epididymal cysts

What is an epididymal cyst?

Epididymal cysts are benign swellings on the epididymis caused by a build-up of fluid. These cysts can be removed if they are causing pain or discomfort, however, they are usually harmless. 

Drainage of the cyst via a needle can remove the fluid, but it is likely to re-accumulate so we do not recommend this treatment.

Epididymal cyst removal can affect your fertility.

What happens before the treatment?

Before your treatment, you will have a consultation with one of our Consultant Urologists. Here you can discuss your previous medical history and will be able to ask any questions that may be concerning you. 

You may be required to have extra tests before the treatment. These will be discussed with you beforehand.

What happens during the procedure?

We understand that surgery can be daunting, but don’t worry, our specialised medical staff will be there to answer any questions or worries you may have.

The surgery requires an anaesthetic; therefore, you will be asleep for the procedure and you won’t feel any pain. Your anaesthetist will discuss the option of having a spinal or a general anaesthetic as well as talking through pain relief after the procedure with you. 

A small incision will be made in your scrotum above the cyst. Specialised medical tools will then be used to remove the cyst from the surrounding tissue. 

The incision will be sewn up with dissolvable stitches and the cyst may be sent off for further testing. 

What happens after the surgery?

Epididymal cyst removal is a day case procedure, so you will be able to go home the same day.

Due to the anaesthetic, you may feel tired, so it is important that you arrange for a responsible person to pick you up.

You will experience discomfort for the initial few days after surgery, you should take the medication as prescribed.

The surgical wound must be kept dry for the first 24 hours. After this, you can remove the dressing and clean the wound in a bath or shower.

As with any surgery, there are risks involved. For epididymal cyst removal, these include:

-    Swelling of the scrotum as well as a bruising of the scrotum is experienced by all patients.
-    Recurrence of the cyst, which occurs between 1 and 10 and 1 and 50 patients 
-    Patients may experience a blood clot around the testicle which can be surgically drained, or it may heal naturally
-    Less than 1 in 50 patients may have scarring of the epididymis which can result in infertility.

You should expect discomfort in your scrotum for up to two weeks post-operation. Scrotal support is usually provided to aid this as well as simple over-the-counter painkillers and any antibiotics required.
If your swelling and bruising becomes progressively worse then we advise you to contact the surgical team.
The dissolvable stitches will disappear after two to three weeks and you may be asked to book a follow-up appointment.

Alternatives include simple observation when your cyst does not need any intervention or drainage of the cyst.