Although your spermatocele probably won't go away on its own, most spermatoceles don't need treatment. They generally don't cause pain or complications. If yours is painful, your doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).
A procedure called a spermatocelectomy generally is performed on an outpatient basis, using a local or general anesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision in the scrotum and separates the spermatocele from the epididymis.
After surgery, you might need to wear a gauze-filled athletic supporter to apply pressure to and protect the site of the incision. Your doctor might also tell you to:
- Apply ice packs for two or three days to keep swelling down
- Take oral pain medications for a day or two
- Return for a follow-up exam about two weeks after surgery
Possible complications from surgical removal that might affect fertility include damage to the epididymis or to the tube that transports sperm (vas deferens). It's also possible that a spermatocele might come back, even after surgery.
Aspiration, with or without sclerotherapy
Another treatment that's not used as often is aspiration, sometimes with sclerotherapy. During aspiration, a special needle is inserted into the spermatocele, and fluid is removed (aspirated). If the spermatocele recurs, your doctor might recommend aspirating the fluid again, and then injecting an irritating chemical into the sac. The irritating agent causes the spermatocele sac to scar, which takes up the space the fluid occupied and lowers the risk of the spermatocele coming back.
Damage to the epididymis is a possible complication of sclerotherapy. It's also possible that your spermatocele might come back. Sclerotherapy usually is used only for men who are beyond their reproductive years.
Dec. 16, 2014
- Eyre RC. Evaluation of nonacute scrotal pathology in adult men. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Zhou M. Uropathology: High-Yield Pathology. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Spermatoceles (spermatic cyst). American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=117. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Crawford P, et al. Evaluation of scrotal masses. American Family Physician. 2014;89:723.
- Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Painless scrotal mass. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary_disorders/symptoms_of_genitourinary_disorders/painless_scrotal_mass.html. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Lund L, et al. The long-term efficacy of hydrocele treatment with aspiration and sclerotherapy with polidocanol compared to placebo: A prospective, double-blind, randomized study. The Journal of Urology. 2014;191:1347.
- Do I have testicular cancer? American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicularcancer/moreinformation/doihavetesticularcancer/do-i-have-testicular-cancer-self-exam. Accessed Nov. 24, 2014.
- Nippoldt TB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., Nov. 27, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.