A spermatocele in your scrotum is usually painless. But some men find this fluid-filled sac gets big enough to become uncomfortable. If you find a spermatocele, visit Kiarash Michel, MD, and the board-certified men’s health experts at Comprehensive Urology in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. They have extensive expertise in assessing and treating troublesome spermatoceles. Call Comprehensive Urology today or book an appointment online for fast and efficient spermatocele treatment.
A spermatocele is a cyst (an abnormal fluid sac). It develops in the epididymis, a small, coiled tube in your scrotum that stores and transports sperm.
A spermatocele usually contains milky or clear fluid and sometimes sperm. Spermatoceles are usually benign (noncancerous), painless, and cause no symptoms. You might notice one when doing a testicular self-exam, or your doctor might discover it during a routine physical.
If a spermatocele grows big enough, you might experience discomfort, pain, and heaviness in the affected testicle. Spermatoceles also cause a feeling of fullness above and behind the testicle.
The reason some men develop spermatoceles isn’t clear, but one possibility is a blockage in one of the epididymis tubes.
Your Comprehensive Urology doctor can diagnose a spermatocele during a physical exam. They might order additional diagnostic procedures, like:
Transillumination involves your doctor shining a light through the scrotum. The light shows if the lump is fluid-filled or solid — if it’s fluid, you have a spermatocele.
Your doctor might refer you for an ultrasound scan if the transillumination test isn’t clear enough for a definite diagnosis. Ultrasound creates moving images using high-frequency sound waves. It can help determine if you have a testicular tumor or scrotal problem.
Most spermatoceles don’t require treatment, and though they’re unlikely to go away, they rarely cause pain or complications. Over-the-counter medicines can help if your spermatocele is painful.
Some men with spermatoceles benefit from surgery. Your Comprehensive Urology doctor performs the procedure (spermatocelectomy) on an outpatient basis. Under anesthetic, they make an incision in your scrotum and detach the spermatocele from your epididymis.
You might need to wear an athletic support filled with gauze afterward. This applies pressure to the wound and protects it. Using ice packs for 2-3 days helps reduce swelling. You must return to Comprehensive Urology for a follow-up exam 1-2 weeks after surgery.
Less common treatments include aspiration (removing fluid from the cyst with a needle) and sclerotherapy (injecting fluid that scars the spermatocele).
A spermatocele doesn’t usually affect fertility. But sclerotherapy and surgery can damage your epididymis or the vas deferens at the end of the epididymis.
The skilled surgeons at Comprehensive Urology rarely encounter this problem. But they advise you to consider storing some sperm in a sperm bank before the procedure if fertility is important to you.
Call Comprehensive Urology today or book an appointment online for expert spermatocele diagnosis and treatment.